An explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrian Istiklal Avenue Sunday has left people dead and injured, a senior official said.
Istanbul Gov. Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that the explosion occurred at about 4:20 p.m. (1320 GMT) and that there were deaths and injuries, but he did not say how many. The cause of the explosion was not clear.
Turkey’s media watchdog imposed a temporary media ban on reporting of the explosion, which means broadcasters cannot show videos of the moment of the blast or its aftermath. The Supreme Board of Radio and Television has imposed similar bans in the past, following attacks, accidents and some political issues.
A video posted online showed flames erupting and a loud bang, as pedestrians turned and ran away.
Other footage showed ambulances, fire trucks and police at the scene. Social media users said shops were shuttered and the avenue closed down.
Broadcaster CNN Turk, in an early report, said 11 people were injured. The avenue is a crowded thoroughfare popular with tourists and locals, lined by shops and restaurants.
Turkey was hit by a string of deadly bombings between 2015 and 2017 by the Islamic State group and outlawed Kurdish groups.