Istanbul blast leaves 6 people dead, 81 injured

According to authorities, six people were killed and 81 injured in an explosion in central Istanbul.

The incident occurred at 13:20 GMT on a retail strip near Taksim Square, city governor Ali Yerlikaya said.

Vice-President Fuat Oktay stated the blast was thought to be a terrorist attack carried out by a woman.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told Turkish media a woman had sat on a bench in the area for more than 40 minutes, leaving just minutes before the blast took place.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the perpetrators would be punished. Erdogan also condemned the “vile attack” and said “the smell of terror” was in the air.

Several businesses on the usually busy street were in a state of shock after the incident.

In the wake of the attack, condolences to Turkey have poured in from around the world. BKM/ Expat Media

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