Two explosions hit Istanbul

(Reuters)
(Reuters)

Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu says two blasts after an Istanbul soccer match killed have 29 people and wounded 166 others.

The explosions took place shortly after the conclusion of a football match between Besiktas and Bursaspor at the Vodafone Arena, on the European side of Turkey's largest city.

In an address early on Sunday, the minister said 10 people had been arrested in connection with the attacks, which inflicted high casualties among police, killing 27 officers, as well as two civilians.

Two witnesses told Reuters they had heard two blasts outside the stadium, and local television footage showed two fires burning on the road outside the stadium.

Mr Soylu indicated that the first explosion may have been be a car bomb and the other a suicide bomber.

"It was like hell. The flames went all the way up to the sky. I was drinking tea at the cafe next to the mosque," Omer Yilmiz, who works as a cleaner at the nearby Dolmabahce mosque, told Reuters.

"People ducked under the tables, women began crying. Football fans drinking tea at the cafe sought shelter, it was horrible."

The office of Turkey's Prime Minister has issued a temporary broadcast ban about the incident. Temporary media blackouts are often implemented after terrorist attacks in the nation.

Turkey has been hit by a series of bombings in recent years, some blamed on Islamic State militants, others claimed by Kurdish and far-leftist militant groups.

No New Zealanders are believed to be among the victims, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

MFAT is warning Kiwis to stay away from the area, and get in touch with their families to let them know they're safe. There are currently 114 New Zealanders registered in Turkey with MFAT's SafeTravel service.

One Kiwi in the area, John McLeod, felt the shockwave of the first blast and saw the second out of his hotel window.

He and two others had passed the site of the bombing only a few hours before, while travelling to get dinner.

"Had all the signs of football crowd trouble and police there in force," he tweeted. 

Reuters / Newshub.