Big explosion rocked streets in central Istanbul


An explosion in central Istanbul on Sunday afternoon reportedly injured people in a popular tourist area.

Istanbul Governor Arijelikaya tweeted that the explosion occurred on Istiklal Street in Beyoglu Square.

“Our police, health, fire and AFAD teams were dispatched to the scene,” he said, adding there were casualties. “Developments will be shared with the public,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country’s official Anadolu news agency tweeted in English that there were “casualties following an explosion on Istiklal Street in Istanbul”.

Local media reports and pictures from the area show a flood of emergency vehicles and at least one person receiving medical attention following the explosion. Some people can be seen fleeing the scene in the photo, which has been cordoned off by security.

The cause of the explosion is unknown, and CNN was unable to independently verify whether there were any casualties.

A witness, Tariq Keblaoui, told CNN that several people could be seen lying on the ground after the explosion on Istiklal Street.

Keblaoui said he was in a shop on Istiklal Street when the explosion occurred about 10 meters ahead of him.

He said it was unclear the extent of the injuries of the people he saw, but several had blood on their legs and arms.

Keblaoui said Istiklal Street, a popular tourist area, was packed on Sunday. Istiklal Street is one of the main streets leading to Taksim Square.

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu has called for aid for teams of police and health workers responding to the city’s bombing.

“Must assist our police and health teams with the bombing on Istiklal Street and avoid postings that could cause fear and panic. All teams involved are in the area and we will provide health information,” he tweeted.

This is a developing story.

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