ISTANBUL — At the least six individuals had been killed and dozens extra injured when an explosion rocked a well-liked pedestrian avenue in Istanbul, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned Sunday.
“The explosion could be a terrorist act. A girl is considered concerned,” Erdogan mentioned in a televised tackle, with out offering particulars about how he had come to this conclusion.
Vice President Fuat Oktay later up to date the wounded toll to 81, with two individuals in severe situation, and in addition mentioned it gave the impression to be a terrorist assault.
Vowing that the perpetrators can be punished, Erdogan mentioned 4 individuals died on the scene and two within the hospital. He added that based on data he obtained from Istanbul Gov. Ali Yerlikaya, at the very least 53 individuals had been injured.
Shortly after the blast, Yerlikaya tweeted that it “occurred in Taksim Istiklal Avenue,” a crowded thoroughfare lined by retailers and eating places, at about 4:20 p.m. native time (8:20 a.m. ET).
“Our wounded are being handled,” he mentioned. “We want God’s mercy on those that misplaced their lives and a speedy restoration to the injured.”
The Turkish Pink Crescent mentioned blood was being transferred to close by hospitals.
Social media customers mentioned retailers had been shuttered and the avenue had been closed down. The world, within the Beyoglu district of Turkey’s largest metropolis, had been crowded as standard on the weekend with buyers, vacationers and households.
Turkey’s media watchdog, the Radio and Tv Supreme Council, imposed a broadcast ban on protection of the blast about an hour after it occurred — a transfer that stops broadcasters from exhibiting movies of the second of the blast or its aftermath.
It has imposed comparable bans up to now, following assaults and accidents.
Quite a few international governments provided their condolences, together with neighboring Greece with which relations are tense. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis mentioned he was “shocked and saddened by the information of the heinous assault.”
Istanbul’s mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, additionally provided his “condolences to those that misplaced their lives within the explosion on Istiklal Avenue,” on Twitter.
Between 2015 and 2017 Turkey was hit by a string of lethal bombings by the Islamic State group and outlawed Kurdish teams.
Aziz Akyavas reported from Istanbul and Mithil Aggarwal from Hong Kong.
Related Press contributed.