Two large explosions have shaken houses throughout Istanbul at 10:30PM (7:30 GMT). Eyewitnesses are reporting a column of smoke rising from the Besiktas Vodafone Arena in the area surrounding Taksim.

D8 News is receiving reports from witnesses in both the European and Asian side of the city. Accounts describe one explosion near the Suzer Plaza building adjacent to the stadium, and the other the main road leading down to the stadium where police were stationed, with around 45 seconds between the two, followed by automatic gunfire.

Scenes of destruction: smoke plumes could be seen rising from across the city
Scenes of destruction: smoke plumes have been seen rising from across the city

A football match had ended hours earlier with crowds mostly dispersed by the time the two explosions tore through streets surrounding Istanbul’s Vodafone Arena, the new home of Besiktas sports club built and opened to the public earlier this year.

Map of attack

The Minister of the Interior convened a press conference where it announced 29 killed, most of whom police officers, with at least 166 more injured, adding that the figures were not yet final. Over 100 ambulances have been dispatched to the site of the attack and police have taken 10 people into custody for questioning. [ed: Number of dead now revised upwards to 38.]

Photographs from the scene of the incident show extensive damage, police helmets strewn across the ground, and workers retrieving body parts flung onto the stadium roof by the force of the blasts. State broadcaster TRT singled out and named journalists who it accused of sharing “offensive content” online.

Locals used Facebook’s safety check feature to mark themselves safe in the aftermath of the attacks.

The government later ordered a broadcast ban, prohibiting detailed Turkish media coverage of the attack. However, in a break with convention, Internet access was not restricted in the aftermath of the bombings and social media services remained accessible through the night.