Three suspected Islamic State group suicide bombers targeted the international airport of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on Tuesday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150. Turkey’s prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.
Three suicide bombers opened fire before blowing themselves up at the entrance to the main international airport in Istanbul.
One attacker opened fire in the departures hall with an automatic rifle, sending passengers diving for cover and trying to flee, before all three blew themselves up in or around the arrivals hall a floor below, witnesses and officials said.
The attack on Europe’s third-busiest airport is one of the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey. Police fired shots to try to stop two of the attackers just before they reached a security checkpoint at the arrivals hall, but they detonated their explosives, a Turkish official said.
“There was a huge explosion, extremely loud. The roof came down. Inside the airport it is terrible, you can’t recognise it, the damage is big,” said Ali Tekin, who was at the arrivals hall waiting for a guest when the attack took place.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, “According to assessments so far, 36 people have lost their lives along with three suicide bombers. We also have (people who are) wounded. Many of them suffer from minor injuries but few people suffer from serious injuries. Treatment is underway.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemns the attack, terming it as inhuman and horrific.
The attack bore similarities to a suicide bombing by Islamic State militants at Brussels airport in March which killed 16 people.