Istanbul Explosion Leaves 6 Dead, Injures Dozens, Possible Terrorist Attack
An explosion in Istanbul killed at least six people and injured nearly 81 others on Sunday. It is considered to be a terrorist attack, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said.
"We consider it to be a terrorist act as a result of an attacker, whom we consider to be a woman, detonating the bomb," Oktay told reporters.
The blast happened on Istiklal Street in Beyoglu Square, in the heart of Turkey's largest city, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya confirmed and said those injured are being treated.
"We wish God's mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured," he tweeted.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan added that the explosion might be terror-related, but that it is not certain at this point.
"It may be wrong if we say this is definitely terror but according to preliminary findings, what my governors told us, that there is a smell of terror here," he said in a news conference, adding that a woman played a role in the explosion.
The Istanbul police chief and authorities in the Istanbul Governor's office are reviewing all CCTV footage. Istanbul's Chief Public Prosecutor's Office is handling the investigation, with five public prosecutors assigned to it, the agency stated.
"All the responsible figures will be identified and punished," Erdogan said.
He and his delegation are still departing for the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, as planned.
The city's criminal court issued a broadcast ban on all visual and audio news and social media sites regarding the explosion, Anadolu added.
Local media reports and footage from the area show a large number of emergency vehicles responding to the scene, with at least one person receiving medical attention. People could be seen fleeing the area.
One eyewitness, journalist Tariq Keblaoui, told CNN that several were seen lying on the ground following the blast on Istiklal Street.
He was in a store on Istiklal Street when the explosion occurred.
The extent of the injuries of those he saw was not clear however several people bleeding from their legs and arms, he said.
Keblaoui said Istiklal Street, a popular tourist area, was heavily crowded on Sunday. Istiklal Street is one of the main streets leading to Taksim Square.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu requested additional assistance for police and health worker teams as they respond to the explosion in the city.
"It is essential to assist our police and health teams regarding the explosion on Istiklal Street and to avoid posts that may cause fear and panic. All relevant teams are in the region, we will provide healthy information," he tweeted.
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