At least five people have been killed after a suicide bomb was detonated on a busy street in the Turkish city of Istanbul, officials claim.
The BBC are reporting that the attack took place on the popular Istiklal Street in central Istanbul’s Taksim square area, where up to 20 people were injured, three seriously.
The suspected suicide bomber is believed to be among those killed. Witnesses told Al Jazeera that moments after the incident, hundreds of people ran in panic away from the site of the explosion. No groups so far have claimed to be responsible for the attack.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) March 19, 2016
According to some reports, many foreign visitors are currently in the Turkish city for the final day of Istanbul Fashion Week.
The attack in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, occurred around 11:00 (09:00 GMT). Uwes Shehadeh who was around 500m away described what he heard.
[There was] a horrific and horrible noise… People didn’t know what was going on. It was very chaotic. Everyone was screaming and running away. Istanbul is on high alert and people are very worried as to what will happen next.Advertisement
— RT (@RT_com) March 19, 2016
Three Israeli tourists were among those injured, local media reports say, and the Israeli foreign ministry confirmed that Israelis were wounded, but they’ve not given the number or said what condition they are in.
The explosion is just one of many recent terrorist attacks in Turkey. Only last Sunday the capital city, Ankara, was attacked and 37 people were killed. Kurdish rebel group TAK claimed credit for the attack, saying it was in revenge for Turkish military operations against Kurds.
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) March 19, 2016
Meanwhile, last month, a bomb attack on a military convoy in Ankara killed 28 people and wounded dozens more and in October 2015, more than 100 people were killed in a double-suicide bombing at a Kurdish peace rally in Ankara.