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At least six people have been killed and 81 injured in an explosion in a downtown area of ​​Istanbul, Turkish officials said. The explosion occurred around 4:00 pm.20 local time (13:20 GMT), at a shopping street in the Taksim Square area, Turkish city governor Ali Yelikaya said. Vice President Huat Oktay said the blast was believed to be a terrorist attack by a woman. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the perpetrators will be punished. At a press conference in Istanbul, he condemned what he called a “vicious attack” and said it had a “smell of terror”. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said the woman sat on a bench in the area for more than 40 minutes and left just minutes before the explosion. So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the explosion. Government minister Derya Yanik tweeted that a government ministry official and his young daughter in the area said there was a large police presence near the blocked Istiklal Street. A helicopter circled overhead while ambulances came and went. Many shopkeepers, who usually stood in the doorways of the busy street, appeared stunned, she added, adding that the incident would shock many in the city. Hayat, who was at an Internet cafe on Istiklal Street at the time of the blast, said he felt uneasy after the blast. “She saw people and injured people walking past an internet cafe to the hospital,” she said. “It was insanity.” Another witness, Cemal Denizci, was about 50 meters away from where the explosion occurred. “There was black smoke. The noise was so strong it was deafening,” he said. Eyup, 20, said there was “fear” among Istanbul residents after the attack, adding that more people may choose to move away from crowded areas like Taksim. rice field. This is one of the city’s main thoroughfares, a street usually busy with shoppers, that was hit by a suicide bomber in 2016.

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