Injuries were reported in the popular tourist area following an explosion in central Istanbul on Sunday afternoon.
Istanbul Governor Ali Yelikaya said on Twitter that the blast occurred on Istiklal Street in Beyoglu Square.
“Our police, health, fire and AFAD teams were dispatched to the scene,” he said, adding that there were casualties. “The development will be shared with the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, the country’s official Anadolu Agency tweeted in English that “explosion occurred on Istiklal Street in Istanbul, causing casualties”.
Local media reports and images of the area showed a flood of emergency vehicles following the explosion, with at least one person receiving medical attention. Some people can be seen fleeing the scene, which was cordoned off by security services.
The cause of the blast was unknown, and CNN could not independently verify whether there were casualties.
A witness, Tariq Keblaoui, told CNN that several people could be seen lying on the ground after the explosion on Istiklal Street.
Keblaoui said he was in a shop on Istiklal Street when the explosion happened about 10 meters in front of him.
He said it was unclear the extent of the injuries to those he saw, but several were bleeding from their legs and arms.
Istiklal Street, a popular tourist area, was very crowded on Sunday, Keblaoui said. Istiklal Street is one of the main streets leading to Taksim Square.
Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu called for aid for the team of police and health workers responding to the explosion in the city.
“It is critical to provide assistance to our police and health teams regarding the bombing on Istiklal Street and to refrain from postings that may incite fear and panic. All relevant teams are in the area and we will provide a healthy message,” he tweeted Special wrote.
This is a developing story.