At least 36 killed in terror attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport
At least 36 people were killed and many others were wounded in a suicide bomb and gun attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport late on June 28, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in a press briefing at the crime scene, adding that findings suggested that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was responsible.
Efforts to positively identify the attackers are continuing, he said.
The prime minister said three attackers arrived at the airport in a taxi.
All three attackers detonated themselves and were killed, but not before firing at police, staff and passengers at the airport, he added.
Yıldırım said there might be foreigners among the victims.
The attack was carried out in the arrivals section of the airport’s international terminal, he said.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said at least one attacker first opened fire with a Kalashnikov rifle before detonating himself.
A number of ambulances were also deployed to the scene, while taxis also transported wounded people to hospitals, according to an eyewitness speaking to CNN Türk.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan released a statement on the attack, saying he “strongly condemned” it.
An unconfirmed video shared on social media and reportedly shot during the Istanbul terror attack showed a police officer wounding an unidentified man. The footage then showed the wounded man lying on the ground before blowing himself up just seconds after the officer ran away.
Entries and exits to the airport were blocked, while authorities appealed to motorists to vacate roads on the approach to the site to facilitate the arrival of emergency services.
Red Crescent Chair Kerem Kınık said there was no need for citizens to immediately descend upon hospitals to donate blood, while asking motorists to avoid creating traffic in front of medical centers. Kınık, however, asked citizens to donate blood at a variety of mobile blood centers established around the city to replenish stocks.
Some flights to Ataturk Airport were diverted after the attack while the airport was shut down for at least five hours, agencies reported.
Flights had resumed by the morning of June 29, although there were still serious delays due to the backlog resulting from the attack.
Erdoğan held an urgent meeting with Yıldırım, several ministers and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar in Ankara before the prime minister departed for Istanbul to conduct further inspections.
Meanwhile, an NBC News reporter, who witnessed the explosions, wrote on Twitter that he saw a police officer wrestle a suicide bomber to the ground and that the attacker then detonated his bomb, Reuters reported. However, the information was not confirmed.
All three opposition parties in the parliament condemned the attack.