Istanbul blast tears through popular street market, killing 6 and injuring 81: reports

An explosion in Istanbul killed at least six people and injured 81 on Sunday, in what the Turkish president condemns and describes as a terrorist act.

Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, the president of the transcontinental country located between Europe and Asia, condemned the attacks on Sunday afternoon, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

People leave the area after an explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrianized Istiklal Avenue on Sunday, Istanbul, Sunday Nov. 13, 2022. A bomb exploded on a large pedestrian avenue in the heart of Istanbul on Sunday, killing a handful of people, injuring dozens and sending people fleeing as the flames mounted.
(Ismail Coskun/IHA via AP)

“The competent units of our state are carrying out work to find out the perpetrators of this heinous act as well as the circles behind it,” he said. “Attempts to bring Turkey and the Turkish nation to capitulation through terror have never succeeded and will never succeed. Let our people rest assured that all aspects of this incident will be clarified and the perpetrators will be punished as they deserve. .

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The blast occurred in a working-class area of ​​Istanbul where pedestrians can walk along Istiklal Avenue.

People leave the area after an explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrianized Istiklal Avenue on Sunday, Istanbul, Sunday Nov. 13, 2022. A bomb exploded on a large pedestrian avenue in the heart of Istanbul on Sunday, killing a handful of people, injuring dozens and sending people fleeing as the flames mounted.
(Ismail Coskun/IHA via AP)

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that the blast happened around 4:20 p.m., or 1:20 p.m. GMT.

Since the explosion, the Turkish authorities have reported six dead and 81 injured.

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Several videos of the act have appeared on social media, including one where an explosion is seen in the distance before a loud bang sends pedestrians spinning and fleeing the scene.

People leave the area after an explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrianized Istiklal Avenue on Sunday, Istanbul, Sunday Nov. 13, 2022. A bomb exploded on a large pedestrian avenue in the heart of Istanbul on Sunday, killing a handful of people, injuring dozens and sending people fleeing as the flames mounted.
(Ismail Coskun/IHA via AP)

Other videos showed police controlling the scene, the aftermath with bodies littering the ground with broken limbs and bloody appendages, and emergency crews rushing to help.

Several world leaders have condemned this violent act in public statements.

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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Twitter that she was “appalled by the explosion in #Istanbul”, adding that her thoughts are with the injured and the families and friends of those who lost their lives.”

The White House also weighed in with a similar statement.

“The United States strongly condemns the act of violence that took place today in Istanbul, Turkey,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “Our hearts go out to those who were injured and our deepest condolences go out to those who lost loved ones. We stand with our NATO ally, Turkey, in the fight against terrorism.

The British government has issued a travel advisory to the area and the Consulate General of the State of Kuwait in Istanbul has confirmed that none of its citizens were among the injured victims in the blast.

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The Kuwaiti consulate has called on the country’s citizens in Istanbul to stay away from gathering places, exercise caution and follow instructions from security authorities.

Between 2015 and 2017, Turkey was attacked by a series of deadly attacks by the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants seeking independence.

Erdo?an’s counter-terrorism campaign focused on cracking down on Kurdish activists, lawmakers and activists is a key rallying point for him as he seeks re-election next year, according to The Associated Press.

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