Istanbul: At least 41 killed, more than 239 injured in suspected Islamic State airport bombing
Three suicide bombers, who failed to get past security, first opened fire at the entrance to a terminal and then detonated themselves.
At least 41 people were killed in Istanbul on Tuesday night after three suicide bombers, suspected Islamic State operatives, detonated explosives at the international terminal of Ataturk Airport, Turkish officials said. At least 239 others were wounded in the attack, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said. The toll is expected to climb further, a senior government told The Associated Press.
According to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, security forces had found signs indicating that the Islamic State was responsible for the carnage. The suicide bombers first opened fire at the airport and then blew themselves up, he said. No group, including the Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
While one of them detonated explosives in the parking lot, the other two blew themselves up at the entrance of the international arrivals terminal after a gunfight with police, another official said, adding that none of the attackers had been able to get past security checks at the entrance to the terminal of Ataturk Airport, which was ranked the world’s 11th busiest airport last year.
Air traffic at the airport was halted after the attack but has resumed now, the prime minister said. He believes that the attack was related to Turkey’s fight against Kurdish rebels as well as its move on Monday to mend ties with both Israel and Russia. “It is meaningful that this heinous attack came at a time when we have become successful in the fight against separatist terrorism...and at a time when we started a process of normalising ties with our neighbours,” Yildirim said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attack, which took place during Ramzan, AP reported. He said the attack "shows that terrorism strikes with no regard to faith and values". Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condemned the attack, calling it "inhuman and horrific". United Nations General Secretary Ban ki-moon and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are also among the global leaders who have expressed their solidarity with Turkey following the attack.
The attack comes in the wake of several others in Turkey in recent months. At least 28 people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in Ankara on February 17. A convoy of military vehicles was targeted. Another suicide car bombing, believed to be orchestrated by the Kurdistan Workers Party, killed 37 people in the Turkish capital on March 13. An explosion left 11 people dead in Istanbul on June 7 after a remote-controlled device exploded in a major tourist attraction in Vezneciler district.