Dual Istanbul Bombings Target Police, Killing at Least 38

155 Wounded in Coordinated Attacks

Turkish officials are vowing revenge today after a Saturday night bombing in the city of Istanbul killed at least 38 people and wounded 155 others. A large portion of the casualties were said to be police, and officials say they believe the bombings were coordinated to target the police specifically.

The attacks happened outside of Vodafone Stadium following a major soccer game. The first attack was a vehicle bomb, and a subsequent suicide bomber hit the same spot, adding to the toll. While Turkish officials are blaming the PKK, the Kurdish splinter group the TAK has claimed credit for the incident.

The first bomb detonated next to a bus containing riot police, and came after the bulk of the fans from the soccer game had already left the surrounding area, according to local media. The explosion attracted more police, and a second bomber hit them.

Turkey has been engaged in an increasingly bloody war against Kurdish separatists over the past several decades, with the Erdogan government greatly escalating the war over the past year. The attacks have provoked a number of bombings, but there are multiple other factions within Turkey also carrying out suicide bombings of their own, meaning that this incident could easily turn out to be ISIS or some other group.

Locals within Istanbul grimly noted that their city has repeatedly been the target of such attacks, with one calling it “the new norm.” Such attacks have devastated the city, whose economy was heavily based on tourism, as fewer and fewer people are willing to brave the dangerous environment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.