Turkey mourns after deadly blasts claimed by Kurdish
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey declared a national day of mourning, launched a full investigation and paid tribute to the dead Sunday after two bombings in Istanbul killed 38 people and wounded 155 others near a soccer stadium. The attack was claimed by a Turkey-based Kurdish militant group.
In a statement posted on its website, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, or TAK, said two of its members had sacrificed their lives in the Saturday night attack that targeted security forces outside a stadium shortly after the conclusion of a soccer match.
“Two of our comrades were heroically martyred in the attack,” the statement read. It said the attack was a reprisal for state violence in the southeast and the ongoing imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK. TAK is considered by authorities as a PKK offshoot.
The attack seemed to corroborate the official version of events although it gave a higher toll of the dead and wounded.
The twin car-and-suicide bombings Saturday night near the Besiktas stadium enraged top officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who vowed to hunt down the perpetrators. The attack was the latest large-scale assault to traumatize a nation confronting an array of security threats.