Blasts kill dozens near Istanbul's Besiktas stadium

    Blasts kill dozens near Istanbul's Besiktas stadium

    Dec.11, Istanabul: Two explosions have hit the Turkish city of Istanbul, killing at least 29 people, mostly police personnel, and wounding more than 160 others, according to authorities.

    Al Jazeera's Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, quoted security sources as saying that they have detained 10 people in connection with the bombings.

    Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 27 of those killed were police and two were civilians, according to AFP news agency.

    "I heard two loud explosions within 30 seconds of each other," Omer Yilmaz, a cleaner at the nearby Dolmabahce Mosque, told Al Jazeera.

    "I saw flames. I walked towards the police bus which was on fire and and I saw policemen inside."

    Turkey declared a one-day morning after the twin blasts ripped through the heart of Istanbul, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Sunday.

    Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also ordered flags to fly at half mast, Anadolu said.

    In a statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "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."

    Police evacuated the area around the Besiktas football arena following the explosions, which the interior ministry said was a car bomb attack. The second explosion at a nearby park was reportedly carried out by a suicide bomber.

    The arena is located across the historic Dolmabahce Palace overlooking the Bosphorus Strait.

    Our correspondent said all the roads leading to the arena have been closed to the public. Public transportation were also suspended, she said.

    She said the blasts occurred about two hours after a football match attended by thousands of people at the Besiktas Vodafone arena.

    A video posted on Twitter captured the moment of the explosion.

    The Oslo Times International News Network