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Explosion in Istanbul kills at least 6, injures dozens more

A massive explosion rocked central Istanbul on Sunday, Turkish officials said, killing six people and injuring at least 53 more. 

The blast occurred on Istiklal Street near Beyoglu Square, a major nightlife and shopping district within Turkey’s largest metropolis. BBC News correspondents within Istanbul reported a heavy police presence throughout the area, and that the blast zone had been cordoned off. 

“People were running in panic … There was black smoke. The noise was so strong, almost deafening,” one eyewitness said, per BBC News. 

In the aftermath of the explosion, some videos circulated online showing the destruction that had been caused. First responders and ambulances could be seen responding to the scene. However, previous similar incidents have notably been subject to a number of media bans by the Turkish government, making it difficult to access any significant footage of these types of attacks.

“We wish God’s mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured,” Istanbul Gov. Ali Yerlikaya said in a translated statement on Twitter. “Developments will be shared with the public.”

Turkey’s state news agency, Anadolu, said an investigation was underway.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a news conference that the cause of the explosion remained undetermined, but that it may have been terrorist-related, CNN reported. 

“It may be wrong if we say this is definitely terror but according to preliminary findings … There is a smell of terror here,” Erdogan said. “All the responsible figures will be identified and punished.”

Source: Explosion in Istanbul kills at least 6, injures dozens more

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