An attack on a central pedestrian avenue in Istanbul causes at least 6 deaths and fifty wounded | International

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Ambulances and members of the emergency services, this Saturday in the explosion zone in Istanbul.KEMAL ASLAN (RUETERS)

A bomb attack shook the Istiklal shopping avenue in central Istanbul on Sunday afternoon. In an extraordinary appearance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained that four people died at the scene and another two after being taken to hospital. In addition, he affirmed that, for the moment, 53 wounded have been counted, and promised that his government will clarify this "treacherous attack" and that the police are working on "catching the culprits."

A video posted on Twitter shows, from a distance, the moment of the incident, which occurred at 4:20 p.m. local time (two hours less in mainland Spain). After the explosion, the deflagration rises several meters above the crowd that at that time was passing through this important pedestrian commercial artery, very visited by tourists and especially crowded on weekends. Immediately, screams began to be heard and those present fled in terror.

Turkish television assured that there are numerous wounded and in some of the images apparently lifeless bodies are seen lying on the ground. In videos recorded by witnesses to the events and published on social networks, more than a dozen bodies can be seen lying on the pavement, some being attended to by other passers-by, as well as injured people covered in blood.

Numerous ambulances moved to Istiklal Avenue to treat the wounded and policemen in armored vehicles cordoned off the area. Chain Haberturk He explained that artificers have also been displaced for fear of a second explosion. A video from a security camera to which EL PAÍS has had access, but whose origin it has not been able to confirm, captures the moment of the detonation in a particularly crowded place on the avenue, which seems to come either from a planter or from a person what is going on there at that time.

Barely an hour after the explosion, the Higher Council of Radio and Television (RTÜK) published an order prohibiting local media from giving images of the attack or the injured, as well as reporting on the investigation, the causes and the arrest of suspects. "outside of the statements made by official institutions." This measure has become very common in the last decade every time a controversial event occurred in Turkey, such as attacks or serious accidents. Partial crashes and slow operation have also been reported on numerous platforms such as Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

In March 2016, an Islamic State militant blew himself up on the same avenue, killing four tourists and injuring 36. This area also saw the majority of the series of truck bomb attacks carried out by Al Qaeda on 15 and November 20, 2003, which left 55 dead and more than 700 wounded.

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