At least 20 victims were injured late Saturday in a car bomb attack outside Vodafone Arena in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district. ‘Hopefully, there will be no lost lives,’ Interior Minister Soylu says.
“Approximately 20 injured in car bomb attack that happened where our riot police officers had been stationed,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told journalists. “Hopefully, there will be no lost lives.”
The explosion occurred after a league match between Besiktas and Bursaspor at the Vodafone Arena. The Turkish Interior Minister also said the explosion took place after the exit the supporters of Bursaspor, a football team, have dispersed.
Injured police officers have been rushed to area hospitals but information about the extent of injuries were not immediately available.
Turkey’s Supreme Board of Radio and Television imposed a temporary ban that includes live broadcast from the scene, footage taken from the time of the blast and afterwards, and images of bodies, the agency said in a statement.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has been briefed by Gov. Vasip Sahin and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu about the explosion, according to Prime Ministry sources who cannot be named due to restrictions on talking to media.
Soylu, who was in Ankara at the time of the blast, is now on his way to Istanbul.
In addition, Turkey’s transport minister Ahmet Arslan referred to the bombing as a terrorist attack and wrote on his official twitter account “I condemn the terror attack on Besiktas, Istanbul, and wish all those injured a speedy recovery,”
Moreover, Turkish soccer team Bursaspor said none of its fans appeared to have been injured in the explosion. “We have contacted our fan groups. There appear to be no injuries among our fans. We wish injured citizens a quick recovery,” Bursaspor said in a statement on its Twitter account.
Turkey has been hit by a series of bombings in recent years, some blamed on Islamic State militants, others claimed by Kurdish and far-leftist militant groups.