No reports of South Africans caught up in Istanbul bombings

2016-12-11 12:18

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Johannesburg – There have been no reports of South Africans killed or injured in two bombs that detonated in Istanbul close to a stadium after a major football game on Saturday, according to the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco).

Twenty-nine people, mainly police, were killed and more than 160 wounded.

Philip Owira, a journalist previously based in South Africa, took to social media to say he had been less than a 100m from where a car bomb detonated.

"There were two explosions, followed by gunshots. I am safe but shaken," he tweeted.

Dirco said, there were no reports of South Africans caught up in the blasts.

"We are not aware of any South Africans involved in the attack at the moment," department spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said on Sunday.

French news agency Agence France-Presse quoted the state-run Anadolu news agency as saying Turkey declared a one-day period of mourning on Sunday after the twin blasts ripped through the heart of Istanbul. 

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also ordered flags to fly at half mast after the car bombing near a football stadium followed by a suicide bombing at a nearby park, Anadolu said.

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