Turkey Suicide Bombings Kill 38, Injures 155 Others As Kurdish Militants Own Attacks

( [email protected] ) Dec 12, 2016 07:52 AM EST
Suicide bombers kill 38, injures 155 more in two separate blasts near a soccer stadium. Government vows relentless crackdown on perpetrators
The Associated Press

Two suicide bombers from a Kurdish militant group killed 38 people and wounding 155 others in two bomb blasts near a soccer stadium Saturday.

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK)based in Turkey claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing attacks where they were targeting police and security personnel stationed outside the Besiktas soccer stadium where a match just ended.

The Turkey government declared a national day of mourning Sunday for the tragedy.

In a statement released to the press, they militant group said that their comrades that carried the attack were "heroically martyred." They group blamed the attack on "state- sanctioned" violence in the southeast and the incarceration of Abdullah Ocalan, the proclaimed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The TAK is believed to be the armed group of the PKK.

The Turkey suicide bombings were carried out in two cars rigged with bombs that were detonated just outside the stadium. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other top government officials condemned the bombing and vowed that they would hunt down those involved in perpetrating the incident.

Reports confirmed that 30 of those who died were police officers, according to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. At least 13 suspects have been detained for questioning and are believed to be connected to the attacks.

Authorities, on the other hand, failed to deny or confirm the involvement of the TAK in the suicide bombings. The ongoing struggle between the government and PKK has been a bloody one, where tens of thousands have already died, including civilians.

Investigators said the first explosion occurred around 10:30 PM Saturday during a championship match of the Turkish Super League. Although the bombers may have planned to place the bombs in areas where they were meant to do a lot of damage and deaths, most of the spectators had left the building when it went off.

The other one was detonated moments after the first explosion when authorities tried to stop a suspicious person in a nearby park. The bomber triggered the bomb at the first sign of authorities trying to question the person.

Turkey has suffered several terror-related attacks this year, carried out by ISIS and Kurdish militants. The latest one was the bombing of Ataturk Airport in June where it claimed the lives of 44 people and wounded dozens of people, including women and children.

The militant PKK also took responsibility for some attacks in Istanbul, Ankara and some areas in southeast Turkey.

Tags : Turkey vs. Kurdish people, suicide bombing, Turkish citizens, soccer, police