Deadly blast in Turkey’s capital, six dead, 36 injured
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There has been an explosion in Taksim Square in Istanbul, the capital of Turkey on Sunday.
According to Arab media, 6 people died and 36 were injured in the explosion
The 24News HD TV channel reported that there is a chance of an increase in casualties.
Erdogan condemns 'vile attack' in Istanbul, says six dead
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday condemned the "vile attack" that ripped through central Istanbul, and which he said killed six people and wounded dozens of others.
"The relevant units of our state are working to find the perpetrators... behind this vile attack," Erdogan told a televised press conference.
He also said initial signs pointed to a "terror" attack in the explosion in Istanbul which wounded 53 others.
"It might be wrong if we say for sure that this is terror but according to first signs... there is a smell of terror there," Erdogan said.
"The attempt to take over Turkey and the Turkish nation through terrorism will not reach its goal today or tomorrow," he added.
The explosion occurred at around 4:20 pm (1320 GMT) in the famous Istiklal shopping street which is popular with locals and tourists.
Blast occurred in busy shopping street of Istiklal
According to the AFP, a strong explosion of unknown origin shook the busy shopping street of Istiklal in Istanbul on Sunday, leaving many people dead and wounding dozens more, officials said.
Police cordoned off the area, where crowds were dense on Sunday afternoon, and helicopters were flying over the city centre as sirens were sounding.
"I was 50-55 metres (yards) away, suddenly there was the noise of an explosion. I saw three or four people on the ground," witness Cemal Denizci, 57, told AFP.
"People were running in panic. The noise was huge. There was black smoke. The noise was so strong, almost deafening," he said.
Parents swept their children up into their arms as they fled the area.
Istanbul Governor Ali confirms four deaths
Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that four people died and 38 were wounded according to preliminary information.
Authorities have given no indication of what caused the explosion.
According to an AFP video journalist on the scene, the police have established a large security cordon to prevent access to the damaged area for fear of a second explosion.
A massive deployment of security forces equally barred all entrances, while a heavy deployment of rescue workers and police were visible.
The explosion occurred shortly after 4:00 pm (1300 GMT) in the famous Istiklal shopping street which is popular with locals and tourists.
According to images posted on social media at the time of the explosion, it was accompanied by flames and immediately triggered panic, with people running in all directions.
A large black crater was also visible in those images, as well as several bodies lying on the ground nearby.
Istiklal Street had already been hit in the past during a campaign of attacks in 2015-2016 that targeted Istanbul.
Claimed by the Islamic State group, those attacks killed nearly 500 people and injured more than 2,000.