The Turkish Interior Ministry has confirmed that three suicide bombers attacked Istanbul Ataturk Airport in one of the country’s largest cities. Their vicious attack has reportedly killed 41 people, and left up to 239 injured.
Three suspects detonated suicide bombs at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on June 28, the Turkish Interior Ministry has confirmed. Witnesses also reported hearing gunfire during the horrifying attack, which left 41 people dead, and 239 more injured, according to Turkish justice minister Bekir Bozdag.
Witnesses told Reuters that the gunfire was coming from a parking garage at the airport. The assailants detonated their bombs at the entrance of the international departures area of the airport before they entered the security line. They engaged in a firefight with police, who rushed to the scene.
Justice Minister Bozdag said via the Associated Press that, “According to the information I was given, a terrorist at the international terminal entrance first opened fire with a Kalashnikov and then blew himself up.”
Taxis were being ferried into the airport to take away the wounded. A string of ambulances and fire trucks were arriving at the scene to help. Flights have naturally been suspended at Istanbul Ataturk, which is the 11th busiest airport in the world; 61 million travelers visited the hub in 2015.
— ✦ T.☪ BAHA T.☪ ✦ (@ELTURC_O) June 28, 2016
Frantic tweets and photos have started coming in from those at the airport witnessing the horrific scene unfold. The destruction and chaos at Istanbul Ataturk is absurd, with walls and ceilings blown out, debris scattered on the streets, and bodies lying on the floor after the brutal attack from the three suicide bombers.
This is sadly not the first attack to devastate Turkey recently. Another blast on the tarmac at a different Istanbul airport, Sabiha Gokcen, killed a cleaner in December 2015. A major explosion hit a tourist-heavy area of Istanbul in January 2016. Not only is Turkey battling ISIS terrorists, but Kurdish separatists as well. Many of the recent bombings in the country have been pinned on Kurds.
The US State Department issued a travel warning for Americans in Turkey, first issued in March 2016, and updated on June 27: “exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.”
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