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Istanbul Explosion Kills 6, Injures 81

A Busy Avenue in Istanbul

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An explosion that rocked a busy street in Istanbul, Turkey on Sunday afternoon killed 6 people and left 81 injured. The explosion occurred on the popular shopping avenue, Istiklal Street in the Beyoglu district of the city.

According to Turkish Vice President, Fuat Oktay, 12 of the injured were in serious condition and stated that the incident was being investigated as a terrorist attack. Oktay also indicated that a woman detonated the explosive device.

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While the Turkish Anadolu Agency claims that the cause of the explosion is not yet known, surveillance video reportedly from the scene shows what appears to be a backpack exploding. According to Turkish state media RTUK, a gag order has been put in place regarding the blast. Meanwhile, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched a terrorism investigation into the attack.

While investigators begin to look into the source of the explosion, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a press conference that “efforts to take over Turkey and the Turkish nation through terrorism will not yield results.” Erdogan continued saying, “Our people can rest assured that the culprits… will be punished as they deserve.” The president finished his remarks by stating, “It would be wrong to say this is undoubtedly a terrorist attack but the initial developments and initial intelligence from my governor is that it smells like terrorism.”

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