- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2008

ISTANBUL (AP) | Two consecutive bombs struck a residential neighborhood of Istanbul on Sunday, killing 13 people and injuring about 70 in what the city’s governor said was a terror attack.

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 occurred about 10 minutes apart, they said.

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

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

An Associated Press reporter who arrived to the scene shortly after the blasts saw at least 12 people lying on the ground. Broken glass, clothing, shop mannequins and other debris were strewn on the ground, and bomb squads in white overalls were inspecting the scene.

“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 [44 yards] away.”

“The first explosion was not very strong, Mr. 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.

Mr. Guler said the bombs were placed in trash cans.

Nurettin Kapucu, a doctor at a nearby hospital, said some 25 people were being treated there. Three of them were in serious condition.

Police sealed off the two areas of a square where the explosions occurred. The square is closed to traffic and is an area where people congregate at night.

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