Four dead, 38 injured after bomb rips through busy Istanbul street

A busy Istanbul street has people reeling after a bomb ripped through it and killed four people. Thirty-eight more were injured when the explosion hit, sending people running from the blast. Ambulances rushed to Istiklal Avenue, a central road in the city. According to The Straits Times, state broadcaster TRT and state-owned Anadolu agency say it is not known who detonated the bomb. Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya added on Twitter that the explosion occurred at around 4.20 pm.

“Four people were killed and 38 others were wounded according to initial reports.”

A Reuters reporter says a helicopter and ambulances were seen near Taksim Square. Mehmet Akus, a worker in an Istiklal restaurant says he heard the explosion.

“When I heard the explosion, I was petrified, people froze, looking at each other. Then people started running away. What else can you do? My relatives called me, they know I work on Istiklal. I reassured them.”

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Anadolu reported that the Istanbul chief public prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the bombing. The Turkish Red Crescent said blood was being transferred to nearby hospitals. A broadcast ban on the blast’s coverage was issued around an hour after it happened. Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu tweeted his condolences.

“My condolences to those who lost their lives in the explosion on Istiklal Avenue.”

While the cause of the blast is being investigated, Istanbul and other Turkish cities have a history of being targeted by Islamist militants, Kurdish separatists, and other groups.

Meanwhile, Finland and Sweden’s plans to join NATO have concerned Turkish officials as they say the two countries are harbouring dissident groups which are classified as terrorists by the Turkish government. The Kurdistan Workers Party is of great concern to Turkey as its government says the party is considered a terrorist group by not only Turkey, but also the EU, the US, and the UK.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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