At least six people have died and 81 were injured in relation to an explosion at a popular pedestrian street in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced in a television address on Sunday (November 13) via NBC News.
“The explosion might be a terrorist act. A woman is thought to be involved,” Erdogan said.
Vice President Fuat Oktay — who also acknowledged the possibility of the explosion being a terrorist attack — later confirmed that the injured total was 81, which included two people reported to be in serious condition.
Erdogan referred to the incident as a “treacherous attack” and vowed to punish the perpetrators. The president didn’t specify who was suspected of being behind the attack, but acknowledged that the incident had the “smell of terror.”
Erdogan confirmed that four people were pronounced dead at the scene and two others at a nearby hospital.
The president initially reported that at least 53 people were suspected to be injured in the incident, according to information provided to him from Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya.
Yerlikaya tweeted that the blast had “occurred in Taksim Istiklal Street” amid a crowded area of shops and restaurants at around 4:20 p.m. local time.
“Our wounded are being treated,” Yerlikaya said. “We wish God’s mercy on those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured.”