Suicide Bombers Kill 31, Wound 147 At Istanbul Airport

June 28, 2016

Three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey's prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.

 

One attacker opened fire in the departures hall with an automatic weapon, 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, which is struggling to contain the spillover from Syria's civil war and battling an insurgency by Kurdish militants in its southeast.

 

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.

 

"It became clear with this incident again that terrorism is a global threat. This attack, targeting innocent people is a vile, planned terrorist act," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters at the airport.

 

The vast majority of those killed were Turkish nationals but foreigners were also among the dead, the official said.

 

The attack bore 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.

 

Reuters

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