Turkey Declares National Day Of Mourning After Deadly Blasts

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the two explosions that occurred after a soccer match on Saturday night

Police arrive at the site of an explosion in central Istanbul. — REUTERS
Dec 10, 2016 at 5:36 PM ET

Turkey has declared a national day of mourning after 38 people were killed and more than 150 were wounded in two explosions near a soccer stadium in Istanbul on Saturday.

According to the BBC, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said one of the blasts may have been the result of a car bomb that was targeting riot police. Thirty of the dead are said to be police. The other, according to the Associated Press, may have been caused by a suicide bomber.

Police outside of Vodafone Arena Stadium, known locally as Besiktas Stadium after the soccer team of the same name, blocked off the area afterward. Witnesses near the scene reportedly heard gunfire in addition to the explosions. “It was like hell. The flames went all the way up to the sky,” Omer Yilmaz, a cleaner at a nearby mosque, told Reuters. “People ducked under the tables, women began crying. Soccer fans drinking tea at the café sought shelter, it was horrible.”

More Turkey Is The New Ground Zero For Terror

AP says the first explosion occurred at around 10:30 p.m. local time after the conclusion of a soccer match. As of now, nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack. “I condemn the cruel terror attack in Istanbul. Those attacking our nation’s unity and solidarity will never win,” Sports Minister Akif Cagatay Kilic tweeted in Turkish.

Turkey has experienced a rash of attacks in recent months which have left dozens of people dead. Those committing terrorist attacks in the country have many times had links to ISIS or groups associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).