Istanbul, Turkey — Two bombs exploded in Istanbul overnight, leaving at least 15 people dead and 154 others wounded, officials announced.
The first bomb created a small blast in a rubbish bin in the Gungoren neighbourhood on the western European bank of the Turkish city.
A second stronger explosion took place several minutes later a few metres (yards) away while a crowd began to gather at the site of the first blast, NTV reported.
The images broadcast by NTV showed scenes of panic, with people covered in blood and disoriented as they ran from the area of the blasts, littered with debris and shattered glass.
Teams of firefighters and emergency workers were dispatched to the scene and police established a security perimeter.
Local television stations had initially reported that the blasts were caused by a gas leak.
Guler downplayed speculation that rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) could be responsible for the blasts, saying it was too early to say who was to blame.
He said officials would study the images filmed by surveillance cameras near the scene of the attacks.
In the past, numerous attacks in Istanbul have been blamed on the PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey and Western powers, which has been fighting since 1984 for independence for the Kurdish-majority southeast region. More than 37,000 people have died in the conflict.