36 killed in attacks at Turkey airport

A gun and bomb attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport has killed 36 people and injured more than 140, officials say.

Three attackers opened fire near an entry point to the terminal late yesterday and blew themselves up after police fired at them, officials say.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said early signs suggested the so-called Islamic State was behind the attack.

Recent bombings have been linked to either IS or Kurdish separatists.

Yesterday’s attack looked like a major co-ordinated assault, correspondents say.

Ataturk airport was long seen as a vulnerable target, the correspondents added.

There are X-ray scanners at the entrance to the terminal but security checks for cars are limited.

Pictures from the airport terminal showed bodies covered in sheets, with glass and abandoned luggage littering the building.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

“The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world,” he said.

The US called the attack “heinous”, saying America remained “steadfast in our support for Turkey”.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “We grieve for the victims. We stand by Turkey”.

He also said foreigners were likely to be among the dead.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag put the number of injured at 147.

Desperate relatives of those missing later gathered outside a local hospital where many victims were taken. Some expressed anger about the lack of information.

Meanwhile, footage has emerged on social media that appears to show a police officer shooting one of the attackers, who detonates a suicide belt as he is lying injured on the ground.

Flights in and out of the airport were suspended after the attack. The US Federal Aviation Administration initially grounded all services between the US and Istanbul but the stoppage was later lifted.

Some flights have now resumed at the airport.

 

 

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