Erdogan calls the deadly blast an attack : NPR

Security and ambulances report to the scene of an explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrian Istiklal Avenue on Sunday. At least six people were killed.

Francisco Seco/AP


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Francisco Seco/AP


Security and ambulances report to the scene of an explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrian Istiklal Avenue on Sunday. At least six people were killed.

Francisco Seco/AP

ISTANBUL, Turkey — At least six people were killed and 53 others injured in an explosion on Istanbul’s best-known commercial street, according to Turkey’s leader.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Sunday’s blast on Istiklal Avenue as an attack and vowed to identify those responsible for it.

“Our people should be assured that the perpetrators of the incident on Istiklal Avenue will be punished as they deserve,” he said. “The relevant units of our state continue to work to uncover the perpetrators of this treacherous attack and the groups behind it.”

There was no immediate explanation or claim of responsibility.

Five prosecutors were assigned to investigate the explosion, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Videos online show bodies lying on the road. Turkey’s media watchdog imposed a temporary ban on reporting on the explosion — a move that prevents broadcasters from showing videos of the moment of the blast or its aftermath. The Supreme Council of Radio and Television has imposed similar bans in the past, following attacks and accidents.

Istanbul has been the scene of attacks before. On New Year’s Day in 2017, a gunman shot and killed 39 people at a nightclub. Almost 80 others were also injured. In 2003, a series of suicide bombings was carried out using trucks at four locations in the city.

Material from the Associated Press was included in this report.

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