A bomb exploded on a main pedestrian avenue in the heart of Istanbul on Sunday, killing six people, injuring dozens and sending people fleeing as flames rose.
Footage posted online shows ambulances, fire engines and police at the scene on Istiklal Avenue, a popular thoroughfare lined with shops and restaurants that leads to the iconic Taksim Square. In one video, a loud bang could be heard and flames could be seen as the pedestrians turned and fled.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the blast a “treasonous attack” and said the perpetrators would be punished.
In addition to the six people killed, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya announced on Twitter that 53 others were wounded – the number of casualties Erdogan also cited.
Erdogan did not say who was behind the attack, but said it had the “smell of terror” without giving details and adding that it was not yet completely certain. He said investigations by the police and the governor’s office are ongoing, including a review of footage of the area.
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Between 2015 and 2017, Turkey was hit by a series of deadly bombings by the Islamic State group and outlawed Kurdish groups. More than 500 civilians and members of the security services were killed in the attacks.
Turkey’s media watchdog imposed temporary restrictions on reporting on the blast — a move that bans the use of close-up videos and photos of the explosion and its aftermath. The Supreme Council of Radio and Television has imposed similar bans in the past after attacks and accidents.
Access to some content on Twitter and other social media, such as videos, was restricted.
© 2022 The Associated Press