Suicide bombs kill 28, wound dozens at Istanbul airport
Suicide bombs kill 28, wound dozens at Istanbul airport –
Reuters – Three suicide bombers opened fire before blowing themselves up at the entrance to the main international airport in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing 28 people and wounding dozens more, the provincial governor said.
Police fired shots to try to stop two of the attackers just before they reached a security checkpoint at the arrivals hall at Ataturk airport, Europe’s third-busiest, but they blew themselves up, a second Turkish official said.
Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin told reporters that 28 people had been killed and around 60 wounded. Several witnesses reported two explosions but Sahin said authorities believed there may have been three suicide bombers.
“There was a huge explosion, extremely loud. The roof came down. Inside the airport it is terrible, you can’t recognize it, the damage is big,” said Ali Tekin, who was at the arrivals hall waiting for a guest when the attack took place.
A German woman named Duygu, who was at passport control entering Turkey, said she threw herself onto the floor with the sound of the explosion. Several witnesses also reported hearing gunfire shortly before the attacks.
“Everyone started running away. Everywhere was covered with blood and body parts. I saw bullet holes on the doors,” she said outside the airport.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the latest in a string of suicide bombings this year, but the Dogan news agency said initial indications suggested Islamic State may have been responsible, citing police sources.
A Turkish official said it was too soon to assign blame.
The attack bore some similarities to a suicide bombing by Islamic State militants at Brussels airport in March which killed 16 people. A coordinated attack also targeted a rush-hour metro train, killing a further 16 people in the Belgian capital.
Speaking in parliament earlier, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said initial information suggested one attacker had initially opened fire with an automatic rifle.
“According to information I have received, at the entrance to the Ataturk Airport international terminal a terrorist first opened fire with a Kalashnikov and then blew themself up,” he said in comments broadcast by CNN Turk.
The state-run Anadolu agency said six of those wounded had sustained serious injuries.
Ataturk is Turkey’s largest airport and a major transport hub for international travelers. Pictures posted on social media from the site showed wounded people lying on the ground inside and outside one of the terminal buildings.