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Suicide Bombers Target 2 Istanbul Synagogues - 2003-11-15

Suicide car bombers attacked two synagogues in Istanbul at almost the same time Saturday, killing at least 23 people and injuring 80 others. Israel has condemned the bombing.

One explosion occurred near the Neve Shalom synagogue in the center of Turkey's largest city during Saturday worship. A second blast took place at about the same time outside the Beth Israel synagogue in the affluent neighborhood of Sisli.

Turkey's Anatolia news agency says a militant Turkish Islamist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Television pictures showed a huge crater in front of one partially collapsed synagogue along with the twisted wreckage of a car, and streets filled with shattered glass from windows of nearby buildings.

The Neve Shalom synagogue was attacked by what were believed to be Palestinian gunmen in 1986 killing 22 worshippers and wounding six. The Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah carried out a bomb attack against the same synagogue in 1992 but no one was injured.

Here in Israel the Foreign Ministry issued a statement denouncing the bombings as "criminal terror attacks".