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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Emergency services at the scene
# Istanbul
Six dead, 53 wounded in Istanbul explosion
The blast occurred in the well-known Istiklal shopping street.

LAST UPDATE | Nov 13th 2022, 4:30 PM

AN EXPLOSION THAT ripped through the heart of Istanbul today has left at least four people dead and 38 others wounded, the Turkish president has said.

The explosion – the cause of which was unknown – occurred at 1:20 GMT in the famous Istiklal shopping street which is popular with locals and tourists.

Police cordoned off an area around Istiklal and helicopters flew over the city centre as sirens sounded.

“I was 50-55 metres (yards) away, suddenly there was the noise of an explosion. I saw three or four people on the ground,” witness Cemal Denizci, 57, told AFP.

“People were running in panic. The noise was huge. There was black smoke,” he said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the “vile attack” which he said killed six people and wounded dozens of others.

“The relevant units of our state are working to find the perpetrators… behind this vile attack,” Erdogan told a televised press conference.

He also said initial signs pointed to a “terror” attack in the explosion in Istanbul which wounded 53 others.

“It might be wrong if we say for sure that this is terror but according to first signs… there is a smell of terror there,” Erdogan said.

“The attempt to take over Turkey and the Turkish nation through terrorism will not reach its goal today or tomorrow,” he added.

turkey2 The Turkish president said that terrorism was likely the cause

The NTV television channel reported that there were “at least five to 10 injured” and showed emergency services and police deployed to the scene.

The area has been evacuated.

Images shared on social media at the time of the explosion indicated it could be heard from far away and that there were also flames.

A wide black crater is also visible on the images as well as several bodies on the ground nearby.

Istiklal avenue was affected during a series of attacks targeting Istanbul in 2015-2016 claimed by the Islamic State group.

© AFP 2022

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