Saudi Arabia strongly condemns Istanbul attack

JEDDAH-Saudi Arabia on Sunday strongly condemned the terrorist bombing that targeted the Taksim area of central Istanbul which resulted in the death and injury of a number of civilians.

In a statement, the Saudi Foreign Affairs ministry affirmed that the Kingdom stands with the Republic of Türkiye against this cowardly act.

It also extended its sincere condolences to the families of the victims and the Turkish government and people, with its sincere wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.

An explosion on Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue Sunday left at least six people dead and 38 others injured, the city's governor said. The wounded are being treated, Ali Yerlikaya said on Twitter.

He said the blast occurred at around 4.20 p.m. local time, with police and emergency officials sent to the scene.
It is unclear what caused the explosion, which appears to have been captured on social media videos.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the perpetrators would be punished. There was a heavy police presence around Istiklal Street, which had been cordoned off. Helicopters were circling overhead as ambulances went back and forth.

Eyewitness Cemal Denizci was about 50m (54 yards) away when he heard the explosion. "I saw three or four people on the ground," he told AFP.

"People were running in panic... There was black smoke. The noise was so strong, almost deafening," he said.

The street-usually packed with shoppers — was previously targeted by a suicide bomber in 2016. Earlier reports had said that number of people have been injured following an explosion on a busy area in central Istanbul.

Turkish authorities have yet to confirm the cause of the explosion or the number of injured, as emergency services were seen rushing to the Taksim area of the city. (Agencies).

Yerlikaya described there being both "casualties and injuries" in a Twitter post, without offering further details

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