At least six people have been killed and 81 wounded in an explosion in a busy area of central Istanbul, Turkiye.

According to Turkish authorities have said, the explosion occurred on a shopping street in the Taksim Square area. 

According to the interior minister of Turkiye, a suspect has now been arrested.

Vice President Fuat Oktay previously stated that the blast was likely the result of a terrorist attack carried out by a woman.

The perpetrators would be punished, according to Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

At a news conference in Istanbul, he condemned the “vile attack” and declared that “the smell of terror” was in the air.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told Turkish media a woman had sat on a bench in the area for more than 40 minutes, leaving just minutes before the blast took place.

Turkiye accused Kurdistan Workers’ Party

On Monday morning, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said a person suspected of having left the bomb had been arrested by police and accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of responsibility.

The PKK is a militant group that calls for an independent Kurdish state within Turkiye. The EU and the US regard it as a terrorist organization.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.

Government minister Derya Yanik wrote in a tweet that a government ministry employee and his young daughter were among the victims.

Condolences have poured in from all over the world in the aftermath of the attack.

According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the US stands “shoulder to shoulder” with its Nato ally in “countering terrorism.”

In a tweet in Turkish, French President Emmanuel Macron said, “We share your pain… We are with you in the fight against terrorism.”

“The pain of the friendly Turkish people is our pain,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a tweet in Turkish.

Countries such as Pakistan, Italy, and Greece have also expressed their support.

Istiklal Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares and a popular shopping destination, was previously targeted by a suicide bomber in 2016.

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