UPDATES WITH DEATH TOLL, EYEWITNESS STATEMENT, DETAILS OF POLICE OPERATION
ISTANBUL (AA) - Seven police officers and four civilians lost their lives in an early morning explosion in Istanbul's Beyazit area Tuesday, Vasip Sahin, the city's governor, has confirmed.
The blast in the Beyazit Vezneciler district on the city's European side damaged nearby shops and vehicles, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter at the scene.
A number of gunshots were reportedly heard after the blast.
Police have evacuated premises near the scene of the blast and the injured have been taken to nearby hospitals.
An Anadolu Agency reporter at the scene reports police officers confirming that a controlled explosion is to be carried out on a suspicious object in the area.
Much of the area has been sealed off by the security forces to the public and the media. A large crowd of onlookers remains.