A deadly explosion took place in Turkey’s Istanbul, killing several people and injuring more. The explosion took place on Istanbul’s famous Istiklal shopping street, which is often packed with people and tourists.
The death toll from the blast in Istanbul currently stands at six, while the number injured in the blast has risen to 81, according to local media reports. The cause of the explosion is not yet known, but it is speculated that it was a terrorist attack.
According to various reports, the bombing was carried out by a female attacker. Addressing the country, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said it was suspected that a female terrorist detonated the bomb in the crowded market.
So far, no terrorist organization has come forward to claim responsibility for the deadly bombing. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said a woman sat on a bench for about 40 minutes and left minutes before the explosion. Two male attackers are also associated with the woman.
Speaking to the media shortly after the blast, Turkish President Recep Tayyip said the incident was a “disgusting attack” and that the “smell of terrorism is in the air”. He added that the perpetrators of the attack will soon be found and brought to justice.
A manager of a restaurant near where the bomb went off said he heard the explosion and saw people running. The dozens of customers in his restaurant, including women and children, panicked and screamed.
The manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation, said he closed the shutters of his restaurant, fearing another explosion, and tried to calm the customers.
It was reported that a government official and his young daughter were among those killed in the explosion in Istanbul. The speculated terrorist attack comes exactly seven years after Islamic State extremists killed 130 people in cafes in Paris.
(With input from agencies)
READ | Six dead, several injured in deadly explosion in Istanbul; President Erdogan condemns ‘disgusting attack’