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Sunday, 11 December 2016

TWO bombs at a football stadium in central Istanbul have killed at least 29 and wounded 166 more in terror attack at Besiktas football stadium in Istanbul

Armed police sealed off streets around the Vodafone Arena, home of Champions League side Besiktas FC, after the huge explosions on Saturday night which were aimed at causing ‘maximum casualties.’
Police arrive at the site of an explosion in central Istanbul
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Police arrive at the site of the stadium explosion in central Istanbul, Turkey
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A blooded body is retrieved off the roof of the stadium
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The horrific scene of the first explosion
Turkish policemen at the site of an explosion in central Istanbul
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Turkish policemen lie injured after the carnage
Horror photos showed the full devastation of the blasts which seemed aimed at local riot police.
Bodies were seen scattered on the streets near the stadium and one body was even retrieved off the ROOF of the arena.
Health Ministry officials revealed at least 15 died in the two blasts – one at the stadium and one in neighbouring Macka Park. Around 70 people have also been wounded.
The attack at the park is believed to have been launched by a suicide bomber.
There were also reports of gunfire at the sports venue.
A suspicious package was later detonated by the security services near the site of the two earlier blasts.
The scene is also about a half a mile from the busy Taksim Square, a magnet for tourists.
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Dozens killed and hundreds injured in two explosions outside Besiktas stadium in Istanbul, Turkey
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Minutes after the explosion went off outside the stadium
Explosion in central Istanbul, Turkey - 10 Dec 2016
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Riot police lay wounded after the explosion
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement: "A terrorist attack has been carried out against our security forces and our citizens.
"It has been understood that the explosions after the Besiktas-Bursaspor football game aimed to maximise casualties. As a result of these attacks unfortunately we have martyrs and wounded.
He added "the name or the method of the terrorist organisation which perpetrated the vile attack" did not matter.
"Nobody should doubt that we will defeat terror, terror groups, terrorists and of course the forces behind them, with God's help.".
The Turkish FA expressed its "tremendous sorrow" at the injuries and condemned the "inhuman brutal terrorist attack".
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the latest atrocity.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the stadium explosion was a 'cruel plot' and appeared to have been caused by a car bomb targeting a riot police bus.
"A car packed with explosives is believed to have exploded where our riot squad was deployed shortly after the football fans dispersed following the match," he said.
"The attack targeted the riot police's bus."
Many of those hurt are believed to be riot officers.
Dramatic footage captured the explosion -forcing a television presenter off-air during a live broadcast.
Right in the middle of the discussion an explosion rings out behind them, as the man on screen panics and flees.
Another video is said to show a young lad playing a guitar when the bomb is seen going off next to the football ground.
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Guitarist appears to catch explosion outside Besiktas stadium in Istanbul, Turkey
An injured policeman lies on a stretcher at the site of an explosion in central Istanbul
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An injured policeman lies on a stretcher at the site of the explosion
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Police officers hug each other after the explosion at the Vodafone Arena
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An armed cop at the scene of the devastation
The blast came two hours after the end of a match between Besiktas and Bursaspor, among two of Turkey's top teams.
Besiktas, the Turkish Super Lig champions, released a statement condemning "the terrorists...who attacked our heroic security forces, who provided security for both our supporters and those of our visitors Bursaspor".
The Istanbul-based club added: "We hope that the citizens who were wounded in the attack will have a speedy recovery and that no greater suffering will be experienced.
"We condemn violence and hatred."
Reports said the explosion occurred at the exit where Bursaspor fans left the stadium, but the club said supporters had already left the stadium and that none of their fans had been caught up in the incident.
Bursaspor added that they wished the "injured security personnel and citizens a speedy recovery".
Police cordoned off the area immediately after the blast, which occurred near Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's office in Istanbul.
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Istanbul stadium bomb blast 'caught on camera during live football show'
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Rescuers and medics carry a wounded person after the attacks
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A plain clothes cop with a machine gun helps secure the area
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Police officers stand inside a damaged bus after the explosion
Turkey has experienced a bloody year of militant attacks in its two biggest cities that have left dozens dead and put the country on high alert.
Kurdish militants have twice struck in Ankara, while suspected Islamic State group suicide bombers have hit Istanbul on three occasions.
In June, 47 people were killed in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, with authorities pointing the finger at Isis.
Another 57 people, 34 of them children, were killed in August in a suicide attack by an Isis-linked bomber at a Kurdish wedding in the southeastern city of Gaziantep.
A member of police special forces stands guard near the scene after a blast in Istanbul
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A member of police special forces stands guard near the scene of the park attack
Besiktas vs Bursaspor : Turkish Spor Toto Super Lig
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Besiktas players celebrate after scoring a goal during the earlier match with Bursaspor
Police extinguish a burning car using a water cannon after a blast in Istanbul
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Police extinguish a burning car using a water cannon
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A body is recovered from Macka Park site of the reported suicide attack
The country is also still reeling from a failed July 15 coup blamed on the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen that has been followed by a relentless purge of his alleged supporters from state institutions.
Saturday's attack came hours after Turkey's ruling party submitted a parliamentary bill that would dramatically expand the powers and possibly the tenure of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a move his opponents fear will lead to one-man rule.
If approved, the 21-article constitutional change would see Turkey switch from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency, amid concerns that the country's government is adopting increasingly authoritarian policies.

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