Several died and dozens were injured in the pedestrian zone
Powerful explosion in the center of Istanbul
At least six people were killed and 53 injured in the attack in the center of the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul, according to official figures. Erdogan described the blast on Istanbul’s Istiklal shopping street as an “ambush attack”.
A police officer looks after a boy who was separated from his parents in the chaos after the bombings in Istanbul.
Horror scenes played out in the heart of Istanbul on Sunday: a strong explosion occurred in the city center at around 4:20 pm (local time). The cause of the blast is said to be a bomb. There were many people at the blast site.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 68, said at least six people died and 53 were injured. He described the explosion as an “ambush attack”. The president did not want to say definitively whether it was terrorism. But there are many symptoms. Ali Yerlikaya, the governor of the metropolis, told him there was a “smell of terror” in the air.
“We cannot say for sure that this is a terrorist attack, but as far as I know it smells like it. A woman participated in this incident,” Erdogan told TRT World. He wished God’s mercy to those who lost their lives in the “bomb attack” and speedy recovery to those injured.
A blast on the popular shopping mile
The explosion occurred on Istiklal Street. This street is a tourist center in the European part of the Turkish metropolis. It is a popular shopping mile. After the blast, the street was cordoned off and shops closed. The Turkish Broadcasting Authority imposed a temporary news ban to avoid panic and fear among the public. For example, broadcasters CNN Türk and TRT interrupted their reports on an explosion in a popular shopping street.
A loud bang can be heard in the video, followed by flames. Rescue sirens were heard in the area around the scene. The images also show a large, black crater and several people lying on the ground. The explosion immediately caused panic among the onlookers who flocked to the shopping street. Turkish Communications Minister Fahrettin Altun said investigations into the background of the crime were underway.
It brings back painful memories: a suicide bomber had already carried out a bomb attack on Istiklal Street in 2016. At that time, 5 people died and 36 people were injured. According to the Turkish government, the killer had links to Islamic State (IS) terrorist fighters. The group itself did not admit the truth then. (AFP/SDA)
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