ISTANBUL AFP – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there were several fatal casualties in the twin bomb attacks that rocked the heart of Istanbul on Saturday.
“Unfortunately we have martyrs and wounded” as a result of the twin blasts, Erdogan said in a statement, one of which is believed to have been caused by a car bomb outside a football stadium and another by a suicide attack at a nearby park.
Government officials could not give a precise toll, with Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu saying earlier that at least 20 police officers were wounded after the blast outside the football stadium — following Besiktas home game against Bursaspor.
“An act of terror targeted our security forces and citizens at Besiktas tonight,” Erdogan said. Besiktas is also the name of the neighbourhood around club s arena.
Erdogan said the blasts shortly after the end of the match sought to cause maximum loss of life.
“We have witnessed once more here in Istanbul the ugly face of terror which tramples down any form of value and morals,” he said.
Erdogan said that “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,” he said.