ISTANBUL (AP) — A bomb has rocked a bustling pedestrian avenue in the heart of Istanbul, killing six people and wounding several dozen.

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Panicked people fled the fiery blast or huddled in cafes and shops.

Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene on Istiklal Avenue.

That's a popular thoroughfare lined with shops and restaurants that leads to the iconic Taksim Square.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the blast a "treacherous attack" and said its perpetrators would be punished.

He did not say who was behind the attack but said it had the "smell of terror" without offering details.

Turkey was hit by a string of deadly bombings between 2015 and 2017.

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