BLASTS KILL DOZENS IN IS­TAN­BUL

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Dom­inque Soguel

Mul­ti­ple ar­rests have been made, sev­eral po­lice of­fi­cers were killed and over 100 peo­ple were wounded in Turkey.

is­tan­bul» Turkey’s In­te­rior Min­is­ter Su­ley­man Soylu says two blasts af­ter an Is­tan­bul soc­cer match have killed 29 peo­ple and wounded 166 oth­ers.

The twin Satur­day night bomb­ings in­flicted high ca­su­al­ties among po­lice, killing 27 of­fi­cers.

In an ad­dress early Sun­day, the min­is­ter said 10 peo­ple had been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the at­tacks.

Po­lice cor­doned off the area as smoke rose from be­hind the newly built Voda­fone Arena Stadium, known col­lo­qui­ally as Be­sik­tas Stadium, af­ter the lo­cal team. Wit­nesses also heard gun­fire af­ter the ex­plo­sions, which ap­par­ently tar­geted po­lice of­fi­cers. The sec­ond blast was thought to be a car bomb.

“We have once again wit­nessed tonight in Is­tan­bul the ugly face of ter­ror which tram­ples on ev­ery value and de­cency,” Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan said in a state­ment.

There was no im­me­di­ate claim of re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack. This year, Is­tan­bul has wit­nessed bomb­ings at­trib­uted by author­i­ties to the Is­lamic State ter­ror­ist group or claimed by Kur­dish ter­ror­ists. A state of emer­gency has been in force af­ter a failed July 15 coup at­tempt.

Turkey is a part­ner in the U.S.-led coali­tion against the Is­lamic State, and its armed forces are ac­tive in neigh­bor­ing Syria and Iraq. It is also fac­ing a re­newed con­flict with an out­lawed Kur­dish move­ment in the south­east.

A taxi driver at the site of the bomb­ings said their force made him hit his head on the taxime­ter and that his ears were still ring­ing from the blasts and scream­ing that fol­lowed.

“Amid the screams, I heard an of­fi­cer say­ing, ‘Do not shout! Do not make them (the per­pe­tra­tors) be sat­is­fied,’ ” said Is­mail Coskun.

The first and larger ex­plo­sion took place about 7:30 p.m. GMT af­ter the home team Be­sik­tas beat vis­i­tor Bur­sas­por 2-1 in the Turk­ish Su­per League. With­out giv­ing num­bers, Er­do­gan said the tim­ing of the at­tack aimed to max­i­mize the loss of life and vowed the na­tion would over­come ter­ror­ism.

Soylu told re­porters in Is­tan­bul the first ex­plo­sion took place on a hill ad­ja­cent to and over­look­ing the stadium. The sec­ond ex­plo­sion struck Macka Park and was be­lieved to be a sui­cide bomb.

The pri­vate NTV chan­nel re­ported that the tar­get of the first at­tack was a bus for riot po­lice and said nearly 70 wounded were taken to hos­pi­tals.

Kur­dish ter­ror­ists of­ten tar­get se­cu­rity forces while Is­lamic State-linked at­tacks have tar­geted tourists and the broader pub­lic.

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