Casualties confirmed after explosion on popular Istanbul shopping street

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ISTANBUL — At the very least six individuals had been killed and dozens extra injured when an explosion rocked a preferred pedestrian avenue in Istanbul, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned Sunday.

“The explosion could be a terrorist act. A girl is regarded as concerned,” Erdogan mentioned in a televised handle, 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 critical situation, and likewise mentioned it seemed 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 in response to info he acquired from Istanbul Gov. Ali Yerlikaya, at the least 53 individuals had been injured.

Shortly after the blast, Yerlikaya tweeted that it “occurred in Taksim Istiklal Road,” a crowded thoroughfare lined by outlets 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 Crimson Crescent mentioned blood was being transferred to close by hospitals.

Social media customers mentioned outlets had been shuttered and the avenue had been closed down. The realm, within the Beyoglu district of Turkey’s largest metropolis, had been crowded as typical on the weekend with consumers, 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 forestalls broadcasters from exhibiting movies of the second of the blast or its aftermath.

It has imposed related bans up to now, following assaults and accidents.

Istanbul’s mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, additionally supplied 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.

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