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Turkish President Erdogan said that the explosion that took place on a busy avenue in Istanbul was a “heinous attack”.
6 people died and 53 were injured in an explosion that took place on a busy pedestrian street in the center of Istanbul. President Tayyip Erdogan called the incident a “terrorist bomb attack”.
Ambulances rushed to the scene on a packed Istiklal Avenue, which was quickly cordoned off by police on Sunday. Located in the Beyoğlu district of Turkey’s largest city, the area was packed with shoppers, tourists and families as usual over the weekend.
Speaking before leaving for the G-20 summit in Indonesia on Sunday, Erdogan said the blast was a “heinous attack” and those responsible would be punished.
“Our people can rest assured that the culprits behind the attack will receive the punishment they deserve,” he said at a press conference, adding that preliminary information indicated a “female role.”
“It would be wrong to say that this is definitely a terrorist attack, but initial developments and initial intelligence from the governor is that it smells of terrorism.”
Erdogan said that 4 people died at the scene, and 2 people died in the hospital. According to the information received from the governor of Istanbul, another 53 people were injured.
No one claimed responsibility for the explosion. Between 2015 and 2017, Turkey suffered a series of deadly bombings by ISIS (ISIS) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said earlier that the explosion happened around 16:20 (GMT 13:20) on Sunday.
In a video posted online, flames can be seen erupting and making loud noises as pedestrians turn and run.
the moment of explosion on Istiklal Street pic.twitter.com/3fM5KRQLWW
— firat (@firatfstk) November 13, 2022
Other images showed ambulances, fire engines and police at the scene. Social media users reported that shops were closed and the avenue was closed.
The Turkish Red Crescent said the blood was transferred to nearby hospitals. Turkey’s RTUK regulatory body banned its coverage about an hour after the explosion.
“I offer my condolences to those who lost their lives in the explosion on Istiklal Avenue,” Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu wrote on his Twitter page.
Al-Jazeera reporter Sinem Köseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, said the explosion was a shock because there had been no warning about attacks in the city recently.
“However, security measures remain high in the area,” he said.
Security analyst Murat Aslan told Al-Jazeera TV that the explosion took place in a crowded area where high security measures were taken.
“The police in general are at the top of their game,” he said.
“There are many security cameras in the area. I think that if there is a terrorist attack, the police will determine exactly who did it and how they did it.”
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