16 Jul 2016 - 1:27 PM  UPDATED 16 Jul 2016 - 2:15 PM

A Turkish army faction backed by tanks and fighter jets staged an attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday but the strongman returned to Istanbul defiantly claiming to have regained control.

Soldiers and tanks took to the streets late on Friday and multiple explosions rang out throughout the night in Ankara and Istanbul, the two biggest cities of the strategic NATO country of 80 million people.

Jets bombed near Turkey's presidential palace in Ankara early Saturday as an army faction attempted to bring down the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Plumes of black smoke were seen rising over the Bestepe district where the palace is located, NTV television reported.

At least 60 are dead, and 336 people have been arrested across Turkey, an official has told AFP.

Erdogan predicted that the move would fail and crowds of supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came out onto the streets to try to block the putsch.

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