Another suicide bombing:
Explosions rock Istanbul airport, leaving 28 dead and 60 injured, Turkish officials say
UPDATED 10 MINUTES AGO
Email Facebook Twitter WhatsApp
VIDEO 1:32 Ambulances rush to Istanbul airport after explosions
Explosions in Istanbul’s main international airport have left 28 people dead and 60 injured, Turkish officials say, in what appears to be the latest in a string of attacks in Turkey’s biggest city this year.
Istanbul Ataturk is Turkey’s biggest airport
Broadcaster CNN Turk says Turkish officials suspect suicide bombers were behind the attack
Ambulances, taxis have been rushing people to hospital
Turkey’s NTV channel cited Istanbul’s Governor as saying 28 people had been killed in a suicide bomb attack at Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey’s largest airport and a major transport hub for international travellers.
“Three suicide bombers carried out an attack. Twenty-eight people have lost their lives. There are also 60 people injured,” Vasip Sahin told journalists.
The “vast majority” of victims were Turkish nationals but foreigners were also among the casualties, an official said.
The state-run Anadolu agency said six of those wounded had sustained serious injuries.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned the attacks, NTV said.
“It is clear that this attack is not aimed at achieving any result but only to create propaganda material against our country using simply the blood and pain of innocent people,” he said in a written statement.
Mr Erdogan also said he expected the world to show a “decisive stance” against terrorist groups in the wake of the attack.
“If states, as all humanity, fail to join forces and wage a joint fight against terrorist organisations, all the possibilities that we dread in our minds will come true one by one,” he said.
“Unfortunately 10 people have been killed according to a preliminary toll,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag earlier told parliament in Ankara, adding that 20 people had been injured.
In comments broadcast by CNN Turk, Mr Bozdag said: “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.”
‘There was a huge explosion, extremely loud’
Pictures posted on social media from the site showed injured people lying on the ground inside and outside one of the terminal buildings.
Passengers shelter in Ataturk Airport in aftermath of attack
Passengers shelter in Atatutk Airport during attack
Footage from broadcasters, including CNN Turk, showed ambulances rushing to the scene.
The blasts sparked panic among passengers, CNN Turk cited witnesses as saying.
“It was very strong, everyone panicked and started running in all directions,” one witness said.
A German woman named Duygu, who was at passport control entering Turkey, said she threw herself onto the floor when the explosion hit.
“Everyone started running away. Everywhere was covered with blood and body parts. I saw bullet holes on the doors,” she said outside the airport.
Ali Tekin, who was at the arrivals hall waiting for a guest when the attack took place, 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.”
Several witnesses also reported hearing gunfire shortly before the attacks.
Ambulances at Ataturk Airport following the blasts
PHOTO Ambulances arrive at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport after the blast.
REUTERS: OSMAN ORSAL
Taxis were ferrying injured people from the airport, a witness said.
Some flights to Ataturk Airport have been diverted, a Turkish airport official said.
The official said scheduled flights were not allowed to take off, but planes in the air would be allowed to land.
Passengers are being transported to hotels, the official said.
Turkey has suffered a spate of bombings this year, including two suicide attacks in tourist areas of Istanbul blamed on the Islamic State (IS) group, and two car bombings in the capital, Ankara, which were claimed by a Kurdish militant group.
In the most recent attack, a car bomb ripped through a police bus in central Istanbul during the morning rush hour, killing 11 people and injuring 36 near the main tourist district, a major university and the mayor’s office.
Turkey, which is part of the US-led coalition against IS, is also fighting Kurdish militants in its largely Kurdish south-east.
Forensic experts work outside Turkey’s largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, after explosions.
PHOTO Forensic experts work at the scene of the attack.
REUTERS: MURAD SEZER
POSTED ABOUT 3 HOURS AGO