Suicide bombings rock Istanbul

20 November 2003
For the second time in a week, suicide bombings have rocked Istanbul, killing at least 25 and injuring about 400. The two bombings, one on the British consulate and another on the city's HSBC headquarters, brought chaos to the streets and disrupted electricity and phones lines. Early reports indicate that the UK consul-general, Roger Short, was among at least 14 people killed in and around the British consulate. The UK Commonwealth and Foreign Office has not confirmed this. At HSBC, an emergency services worker told Reuters that there were many dead, mostly outside the building. 'There were many more who died on the street and in cars - as many as 10 people died outside.' HSBC has confirmed that a number of its employees had died in the attack, but did not elaborate.

The bombings on 20 November, which targeted UK interests in Istanbul, come days after two suicide bombers on 15 November attacked two synagogues in the city killing 23 and injuring about 300. Istanbul governor Muammer Guler said on 20 November that DNA tests had shown that the suicide bombers were both Turkish.

World leaders have been swift in condemning the bombings in Turkey. UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said the attacks in Turkey on 15 and 20 November showed all the hallmarks of international terrorist organisations, particularly Al-Qaeda.

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