No person or group immediately claimed responsibility for the Saturday attack, according to the Associated Press

By Adam Carlson
March 19, 2016 11:25 AM
Burak Kara/Getty

At least four people are dead and more than 20 left wounded after a suicide bombing tore through one of main pedestrian arteries in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday morning, the Associated Press reports.

This marks the sixth such suicide attack in Turkey since July, according to the AP, as more than 200 people have been killed in a string of attacks either blamed on ISIS, by Turkish authorities, or claimed by a Kurdish militant group amid ongoing ethnic tensions in the country.

The most recent bombing before this, on Sunday in the capital city of Ankara, killed 37, including two bombers, according to the AP.

While Turkey is among the coalition partners in the American-led battle against ISIS, the country has also recently faced a breakdown in peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, escalating a decades-long conflict between the government and Kurdish militants that has already killed thousands, according to the AP.

Police secure the area following a suicide bombing in a major shopping and tourist district in the central part of the city on March 19, 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey.
Burak Kara/Getty

Media reports conflicted on the exact number of dead and wounded from the Saturday attack, which struck at about 11 a.m. local time, according to NPR.

It was not immediately clear if the bomber was among the dead.

No person or group has immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to the AP.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kutulmuç said the terror that underlined such attacks would not succeed.

“They want to scare Turkey with these attacks,” he said according to The Guardian. “They want citizens to lock themselves in at home. They want citizens to be unable to leave the house. But no, they can do whatever they want, but we will not get used to terror.”

Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu told the AP that 36 people were wounded, including 12 foreign citizens from Europe and the Middle East.

The bombing occurred on Istiklal Street, which is lined with businesses, including shops, restaurants and cafes, and foreign consulates, according to the AP.

“People didn’t know what was going on. It was very chaotic. Everyone was screaming and running away,” one pedestrian, Uwes Shehadeh, told the BBC.

“Istanbul is on high alert and people are very worried as to what will happen next,” Shehadeh said.

A cafe owner near the explosion site told the AP, “The explosion was not so big but I felt it in my heart because our people died. They want a war, but our people want peace.”