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Bomb goes off outside McDonald's in Istanbul

Two bombs defused outside Rome McDonald's


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McDonald's Corporation
Istanbul (Turkey)
Rome (Italy)

ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- A bomb exploded outside a McDonald's restaurant in Istanbul Thursday evening, and authorities defused two homemade bombs outside one of the company's restaurants in Rome, police in Turkey and Italy said.

No one was injured in the Istanbul explosion, which went off about 6:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m. ET). The bombs disarmed in Rome were packaged with banners bearing slogans against war and imperialism and a five-pointed red star, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility in either case.

In the Istanbul attack, a witness said the store manager told her his restaurant had received a phone call about 15 minutes before the blast, warning people to evacuate.

The device detonated beneath a car in a neighboring parking lot, setting that vehicle ablaze and damaging at least four others.

Several hours earlier, workers at a McDonald's in the Italian capital spotted two bags, each similar to carry-on luggage, outside their restaurant.

They called police, who found and disarmed homemade explosive devices inside, said Col. Leonardo Alestra, a spokesman for the Carabinieri military police.

Alestra described both bombs as "very elementary." One was made with gunpowder and gasoline, the other was designed to detonate propane cylinders.

"It would have taken a lot of lucky coincidences to get these to explode," he said.

Speaking to shareholders at the company's Oak Brook, Illinois, headquarters, McDonald's President and CEO Charlie Bell said the company has "great security" in place at its restaurants, but he would not discuss details of Thursday's events.

"We are a symbol of America, a proud symbol of America," Bell said. "We were born here and have been transplanted all around the world with a bit of different local flavor and flair, and when people are looking for symbols of America, companies like ours do pop up from time to time. But we take this very seriously."

CNN Correspondent Alphonso Van Marsh in Istanbul and producers Flavia Taggiasco in Rome and Octavio Blanco in New York contributed to this report.


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