An explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrianized Istiklal Avenue on Sunday left people dead and injured, a senior official said.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that the explosion occurred around 16:20 (1320 GMT) and that there were deaths and injuries, but did not say how many. The cause of the explosion was unclear.

The Turkish media control body has imposed a temporary ban on the media on reporting the explosion, which means broadcasters cannot show videos of the moment of the explosion or its aftermath. The Supreme Council of Radio and Television has imposed similar bans in the past, following attacks, incidents and some political issues.

A video posted online showed flames bursting and a loud bang as pedestrians turned and ran away.

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Other footage showed ambulances, fire trucks and police on the spot. Social media users claimed that the shops were closed and the boulevard was closed.

Security and ambulances on the scene after an explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrianized Istiklal Avenue on Sunday, November 13, 2022. Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that the explosion occurred around 4:20 pm (1320 GMT) and that there were dead and wounded, but did not say how many. The cause of the explosion was unclear.
(Photo AP / Francisco Seco)

CNN Turk, in an initial report, said 11 people were injured. The boulevard is a busy thoroughfare popular with tourists and locals alike, lined with shops and restaurants.

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Turkey was hit by a series of deadly attacks between 2015 and 2017 by the Islamic State group and outlawed Kurdish groups.

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