Deadly explosions in Istanbul International Airport

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

At least 32 people were killed and scores more wounded in a suicide attack on Istanbul’s main international airport late on June 28.

RFERL reports that Turkish officials say three suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport near the security check-in area after police fired at them.

One attacker with an automatic rifle reportedly shot indiscriminately at travelers in the terminal before setting off his suicide vest. Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said there were also signs of an explosion near the metro station at the airport.

With similarities to the Brussels airport bombings in March, Turkish media said initial indications are the Islamic State group was responsible.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack, saying “innocent civilians” were the victims. He said such a “heinous” attack could occur at any airport in the world.

“We urge the world, especially Western countries, to take a firm stance against terrorism,” he said.

Witnesses said three violent explosions shook the building, sparking panic among passengers and causing the roof to cave in. Blood and body parts covered the scene.

The wounded, among them police officers, were being transferred to Bakirkoy State Hospital.

Hundreds of passengers flooded out as Turkish authorities evacuated the airport.

All planes were being diverted to nearby airport and flights out of the airport were halted. The United States has stopped all flights to and from Istanbul.

Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in recent months, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and Islamic State militants.


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