Istanbul ‘attack’ blast kills 6 persons – President Erdogan

Municipal workers clean debris as Turkish policemen secure the area after a strong explosion of unknown origin shook the busy shopping street of Istiklal in Istanbul, on November 13, 2022.(Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP)

An explosion tore through a busy Istanbul shopping street on Sunday, killing six and wounding dozens in what Turkey’s president said bore the signs of a “terror” attack.

Police cordoned off an area around Istiklal, where there were dense crowds on Sunday afternoon, 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 what he called a “vile attack”.

“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 told a press conference.

Turkey’s vice president Fuat Oktay said: “We believe that it is a terrorist act carried out by an attacker, whom we consider to be a woman, exploding the bomb”.

Justice minister Bekir Bozdag said: “A woman had been sitting on one of the benches for more than 40 minutes and then she got up.

“One or two minutes later, an explosion occurred,” he told A Haber television.

“There are two possibilities,” he said. “There’s either a mechanism placed in this bag and it explodes, or someone remotely explodes (it)”.

“All data on this woman are currently under scrutiny,” he added.

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