In what Turkey's Interior Ministry has called a coordinated terrorist attack, a car bomb exploded near a riot police bus leaving Vodafone stadium in the Besiktas district of central Istanbul after a football match and another attacker detonated a suicide vest nearby.
— Sputnik Türkiye (@sputnik_TR) December 10, 2016
There were also reports of gunfire near the stadium.
— OMID MOKARIAN (@OMMO1976) December 10, 2016
The suspected suicide bomber struck in Macka park, next to the Vodafone Arena, home to Istanbul's Besiktas soccer team, while the second explosion hit directly outside the stadium, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said in a live broadcast on Turkish TV after the attack.
The car bomb attack near the arena, which has killed 15 and wounded 69, according to a Turkish official citing Health Ministry figures, took place about two hours after a football match. The wounded are believed to be police officers providing security for the match, NTV reports. Horrific images of the carnage, including severely injured police officers, are circulating on social media.
— Ramazan Hakki Oztan (@rhoztan) December 10, 2016
"It was like hell. The flames went all the way up to the sky. I was drinking tea at the cafe next to the mosque," Omer Yilmiz, who was working at the Dolmabahce mosque near the stadium, told Reuters.
"People ducked under the tables, women began crying. Soccer fans drinking tea at the cafe sought shelter, it was horrible," he said.
— Ezgi Basaran (@ezgibasaran) December 10, 2016
A loud blast can be heard in footage of a press conference at the stadium, prompting people to run.
— FOREVER 1903 (@forever1903bjk1) December 10, 2016
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said, "A terrorist attack has been carried out against our security forces and our citizens," in a statement after the attack.
"It has been understood that the explosions after the Besiktas-Bursaspor football game aimed to maximize casualties. As a result of these attacks unfortunately we have martyrs and wounded."
Police evacuated the area. The Sun reports that security personnel have also detonated a suspicious package near where the two explosions took place.
The Turkish prime minister's office has issued a temporary broadcast ban on the bombing, and internet access was disrupted across the country after the attack, users report.
Turkey has had a sadly violent year. Hundreds were killed during a failed coup attempt in July, and alleged coup supporters are still being purged from state and other institutions. In June, 47 were killed in a suicide bombing and shooting attack at the Istanbul airport, and another 57 were killed in a suicide attack on a wedding in the country's southeast in August.