Istanbul rocked by terror blasts

CENTRAL Istanbul was a scene of devastation today after a series of explosions left parts of Turkey's largest city resembling the aftermath of an earthquake. Bomb attacks on the British consulate and the HSBC bank headquarters have left at least five dead and many injured.

CENTRAL Istanbul was a scene of devastation today after a series of explosions left parts of Turkey's largest city resembling the aftermath of an earthquake.

Television footage showed the wrecked facade of the headquarters of the British HSBC bank, water gushing from a burst mains onto mangled cars and debris littering the street below.

Outside the UK consulate nearby, confused people staggered over rubble and twisted metal as smoke and dust blotted out the sunlight.

There was confusion over exactly how many explosions had rocked the busy city centre – and over how many people had been killed.


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Early reports spoke of five separate blasts and 13 people dead.

"People are out on the street, holding their head in their hands, crying, trying to phone relatives," a reporter from the French news agency AFP said from the scene.

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All the windows in the 15-storey HSBC building in the heart of the city's commercial district were blown out by the blast, sending shards of glass crashing to the ground.

Pools of blood were visible in the street, which was packed with shoppers at the time of the blast.

Eyewitness Chris Kitrinos, an English teacher, said: "The damage is very extensive. I'm looking at people lying on the ground.

"Civilians are carrying people away from the scene... There is debris and bodies around."

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