Erdogan: Bomb blast on Istanbul avenue kills 6

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Erdogan terms explosion as treacherous attack

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said an explosion on a major pedestrian thoroughfare in Istanbul was caused by a “bomb attack.” Six people have died.

Speaking before his departure to the G-20 summit in Indonesia on Sunday, Erdogan said the explosion was a “treacherous attack” and its perpetrators would be punished.

Four people died at the scene and two in the hospital, Erdogan said. Another 53 were wounded, according to information he received from the Istanbul governor.

Five prosecutors were assigned to investigate the explosion, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

A video posted online showed flames erupting and a loud bang, as pedestrians turned and ran away. Other footage showed ambulances, fire trucks and police at the scene. Social media users said shops were shuttered and the avenue closed down.

Turkey’s media watchdog imposed a temporary ban on reporting on the explosion. The Supreme Council of Radio and Television has imposed similar bans in the past, following attacks and accidents.

Istanbul Gov. Ali Yerlikaya tweeted the death toll and said those hurt were being treated.

Turkey was hit by a string of deadly bombings between 2015 and 2017 by the Islamic State group and outlawed Kurdish groups.—AP

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