Istanbul: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the blast that hit Istanbul on Sunday was likely an act of terror.
“Although it is too early to confirm 100 per cent, initial reports and information from the governor’s office show (the blast) smells like terror,” Erdogan said at a press conference in Istanbul before heading to Indonesia for the G20 summit.
“It looks like a single woman had a role in it,” added the President, noting a full-scale investigation was underway, Xinhua news agency reported.
Earlier, reacting to the blast, Erdogan has said that the security and health units were sent to the scene of the incident, and the wounded were quickly transferred to the surrounding hospitals. He also asserted that efforts to take over Turkey through terrorism will not work.
India conveyed its condolences to the Turkish government and people following the blast.
India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a tweet said, “India conveys its deepest condolences to the Government and people of Turkiye on the tragic loss of lives in the blast that took place in Istanbul today. Our sympathies are also with those who sustained injuries. We wish them a speedy recovery.”
An explosion hit the busy pedestrian Istiklal avenue on the European side of the city at 4:20 p.m. local time, killing at least six people and wounding 53 others.
The blast caused severe panic in the city, particularly in the historic Beyoglu district where loud sound rippled through.
A large number of health personnel arrived at the scene to tend to the wounded, and the police are now on high alert.