Istanbul terror attack death toll increases to 44

DAILY SABAH WITH AFP
ISTANBUL
Published

The death toll from the Istanbul twin bombings carried out by PKK-affiliated terrorists near Maçka Park has risen to 44, Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdağ said Monday.

The late Saturday attacks saw a car bomb explode near police vehicles and less than a minute later, a suicide bomber blew himself up near a group of police at a nearby park.

"It is very painful that we lost 36 of our police officers and eight civilians in a bloody attack," Akdağ told the parliament.

The blasts also injured 166 people and were claimed by the TAK, which is an offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization.

The TAK terrorists have carried out three major terrorist attacks this year. Two were in Ankara: one on February 17 that left 28 dead and another on March 13 that killed 34; as well as a car bombing in Istanbul on June 7 in which 11 people died.

Turkish police officers carry the coffins of a comrade during a funeral ceremony at Istanbul's police headquarters on December 11, 2016 (AFP Photo)
Turkish police officers carry the coffins of a comrade during a funeral ceremony at Istanbul's police headquarters on December 11, 2016 (AFP Photo)
Relatives of police officer Haşim Usta who was killed in PKK terrorist attacks on Dec. 10 mourn over his coffin during the funeral in Istanbul, Turkey, 12 December 2016 (EPA Photo)
Relatives of police officer Haşim Usta who was killed in PKK terrorist attacks on Dec. 10 mourn over his coffin during the funeral in Istanbul, Turkey, 12 December 2016 (EPA Photo)
Relatives mourn over the coffin of a Turkish police officer during a funeral ceremony at Istanbul's police headquarters on December 11, 2016 (AFP Photo)
Relatives mourn over the coffin of a Turkish police officer during a funeral ceremony at Istanbul's police headquarters on December 11, 2016 (AFP Photo)
 A man lays flowers on a police vehicle as people pay their respects outside the Vodafone Arena football stadium in Istanbul on December 11, 2016 (AFP Photo)
A man lays flowers on a police vehicle as people pay their respects outside the Vodafone Arena football stadium in Istanbul on December 11, 2016 (AFP Photo)
People hold a giant Turkish national flag during a demonstration on December 11, 2016 a day after twin bombings near the home stadium of Besiktas football club. (AFP Photo)
People hold a giant Turkish national flag during a demonstration on December 11, 2016 a day after twin bombings near the home stadium of Besiktas football club. (AFP Photo)
PM Yıldırım, President Erdoğan, former President Gül and FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu attending the funeral ceremony for the victims of Istanbul terror attacks at Police Department headquarters (AFP Photo)
PM Yıldırım, President Erdoğan, former President Gül and FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu attending the funeral ceremony for the victims of Istanbul terror attacks at Police Department headquarters (AFP Photo)
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