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Bombers hit Istanbul lodge

Rescuers load an injured man onto an ambulance after an explosion in Istanbul Tuesday night.

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Suicide bombers hit Istanbul lodge
Istanbul (Turkey)
Suicide bombers

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A bomb has torn through a Masonic lodge in Istanbul, killing at least two people and wounding at least seven others.

The explosion occurred at 10:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) in the Asian section of the city shortly after two men wounded a security guard at the building entrance and entered, said CNN Turk Correspondent Eyup Karasakal.

Police said a man identified as Abdullah Islam was among the wounded, and may have been the bomber.

Istanbul governor Muammer Guler confirmed to reporters the blast was caused by two assailants who attacked a security guard and sprayed a meeting room with gunfire before detonating some sort of explosive device.

One of the attackers and a waiter working in the building have been confirmed killed.

"Two assailants shot the guard in his feet and raked the restaurant of the lodge with gunfire, then detonated bombs," Guler told reporters.

"One terrorist and one waiter was killed, the second terrorist is injured with his arm ripped off and his guts spilled out," The Associated Press reports.

An eye witness, Turabi Guneser, told private NTV news channel that he heard a series of gun shots before the blasts.

"I was near the window and I heard two shots, which were followed by automatic gunfire," Guneser said. "Two blasts followed seconds later and smoke covered the air."

Dr. Murat Aslan told NTV television that most of the injured had bullet and other wounds.

One of the injured was reported to be in critical condition.

Guler said about 40 people were dining at the restaurant at the time of the attack.

Police have evacuated and cordoned off the area in case other explosive devices have been planted.

Forensic teams are also on the scene, CNN's Matthew Chance reports.

The teams are looking for evidence which might link this attack to a series of deadly suicide bombings last year in Istanbul.

More than 60 people were killed in November in four bomb attacks on British and Jewish targets in Turkey's largest city.

Turkish authorities blamed those attacks on the al Qaeda network.

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