‘Smells like terror’: Six killed and dozens injured after explosion blasts Istanbul shopping street

Credit: AP

At least six people have been killed and more than 80 left injured after an explosion blasted a major pedestrian avenue in the heart of Istanbul on Sunday.

Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene as people fled the fiery explosion on Istiklal Avenue, a popular street lined with shops and restaurants in the famous Taksim Square area.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the blast a “treacherous attack” and said its perpetrators would be punished, as he confirmed the death toll had risen to six.

He did not say who was behind the attack but said it “smells like terrorism”, however, he said this had not yet been confirmed.

The president said investigations were ongoing by the police and the governor’s office, including reviewing footage of the area.

Vice President Fuat Oktay later updated the wounded toll to 81, with two in serious condition, and also said it appeared to be a terrorist attack.

People were seen fleeing the scene earlier on Sunday.

In one video posted online, a loud bang could be heard and a flash seen as pedestrians turned and ran away.

Turkey’s media watchdog imposed temporary restrictions on reporting on Sunday’s explosion – a move that bans the use of close-up videos and photos of the blast and its aftermath.

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