Blasts 10 minutes apart kill at least 16 in Turkey

Two consecutive bombs struck a residential neighborhood of Istanbul Sunday, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 150 in the deadliest attack against civilians in Turkey in almost five years.

Many people were injured in the second blast after they rushed to the area to help the casualties of the first explosion in the working class Gungoren neighborhood, witnesses said. The blasts were about 10 minutes apart, they said.

“There is no doubt that this is a terror attack,” Gov. Muammer Guler told reporters, adding police were investigating who was behind the blasts. “The fact that there was a crowd in the area has increased the number of casualties,” Guler added.

Kurdish, leftist and Islamic militants are active in Istanbul and have carried out past bombings in the city.

“The first explosion was in a telephone booth,” said Huseyin Senturk, who owns a shoe shop in the area. “The second explosion was some 40 meters away.”

“The first explosion was not very strong, Senturk added. “Several people came to see what was going on. That's when the second explosion occurred and it injured many onlookers.”

The second explosion could be heard a mile away.