Death toll rises to 44 in Istanbul’s twin bombings

ISTANBUL, -- The death toll in Istanbul's twin bombings on Saturday has risen to 44, Turkish Health Minister RecepAkdag announced on Monday.

The Hurriyet daily quoted the minister as saying that 36 police officers and eight civilians lost their lives in the attacks on Saturday night targeting riot police on duty outside a football stadium in the district of Besiktas.

Earlier tally put the number of dead at 38, including 30 police personnel.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks, a militant group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), on Sunday claimed the responsibility for the attacks, which involved a car bomb and a suicide bomber.

Turkey scrambled warplanes on the same day and destroyed some 12 PKK targets in northern Iraq, while 118 officials from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party were detained in five provinces by counter-terror police teams on Monday.

Also on Monday, consul generals from some 30 countries went to the bombing sites to mourn the dead, laying wreaths in colors representing their respective countries.

Turkey has now come under 10 major deadly attacks this year, in which at least 270 people were killed. The attacks were mostly blamed on the Islamic State and the PKK.

Source: Philippines News Agency