Explosions, gunfire heard near Istanbul soccer stadium

Two explosions hit Saturday night near a major soccer stadium in Istanbul, and Turkish authorities say about 29 have been killed and 115 have been wounded.

Witnesses said police were deployed and had cordoned off the area as smoke rose from the newly built Besiktas Stadium. They said gunfire could be heard in what appeared to have been an armed attack on police. 

The private NTV channel said the target of the attack was a bus for riot police.

Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu gave the casualty toll and said the wounded were police officers.

"It is thought to be a car bomb at a point where our special forces police were located, right after the match at the exit where Bursaspor fans exited, after the fans had left." Soylu was quoted as saying by Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency. "We have no information on the number of dead. God willing we hope there won't be any. The wounded are police."

Images broadcast on television showed more than a dozen ambulances on a street hugging the stadium and a police helicopter flying overhead with its search lights on.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin had been notified, the agency said.

 

Copyright 2016. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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