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Deadly blasts hit Turkey hotels


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Two hotels in Istanbul were rocked by simultaneous bomb blasts.
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ISTANBUL, Turkey (CNN) -- Near-simultaneous explosions hit two Istanbul hotels early Tuesday, killing two people, and another attack unsuccessfully targeted gas tanks at a fuel storage depot.

The city's police chief said the blasts were an apparent terrorist attack.

The blasts went off about 1:40 a.m. (6:40 p.m. Monday ET). Seven people were wounded in the blasts at two tourist hotels in separate Istanbul neighborhoods, Istanbul Police Chief Celalettin Cerrah said.

"For the moment everything is pointing to a terrorist attack," Anatolia reported him saying.

According to Cerrah, the explosions took place at the Pars Hotel in Istanbul's Laleli district and at the Hotel Star Holiday in Sultanahmet.

Four Spanish men were injured in one of the hotel blasts in and went to hospital but none was in serious condition, a Spanish Foreign Ministry official told CNN.

The men are friends on holiday in Turkey and were staying at the Hotel Star Holiday hit by one of the blasts.

Two of the Spaniards were "slightly buried" by the debris after the blasts. One suffered two broken legs; another suffered one broken leg, the official said.

The two other Spaniards had less serious injuries.

The Spaniards were being treated in two Istanbul hospitals, named Cerrahpasa and Haseki.

The Spanish government did not release their names or ages, at the request of the injured, the official said.

The Spanish Consul in Istanbul "is taking care of all necessities" for the injured Spaniards and is aiming to bring them back to Spain as soon as possible, the official said.

The official, in Madrid, said attempts to establish phone contact with the Spanish diplomatic mission in Turkey had been difficult due to saturated phone lines in Turkey.

About the same time, attackers tried to use small explosive devices to detonate large fuel storage tanks at the Demiroren Group facility in Istanbul's Esenyurt neighborhood, company spokesman Tayfun Demiroren said.

The bombs exploded but failed to rupture the fuel tanks, he said. There were no injuries.

The first bomb went off about an hour before the hotel explosions, while a second one went off at nearly the same time as the attacks on the hotels, Demiroren said.

A string of bombings in Istanbul in November 2003 targeted two synagogues, a British-owned bank and the British consulate. The blasts killed 60 people, including the British consul general, and wounded hundreds.

Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman contributed to this report


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