At least 31 people are dead and 147 more have been wounded in multiple suicide attacks at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, according to Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag.
One of the terrorists opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle before detonating his suicide vest, Bozdag said.
Six of the wounded are in critical condition. The nationalities of the victims have not been confirmed.
On late Tuesday night three terrorists detonated their suicide vests at the entry point of the international terminal before passing the x-ray security checkpoint, according to Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin.
Dozens of police, medics and fire brigades have been sent to the scene of the incident and the airport has been shutdown.
This is the latest attack in a string of attacks that have struck the Turkish city in recent months. Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned the attack and said, “Everyone should be certain that for terror organisations there is no difference between Istanbul, London, Ankara, Berlin, Izmir, Chicago, Antalya and Rome. Respected countries, if we don’t go hand in hand and fight terror organisations together, we will face many difficulties that we cannot even imagine,” according to Anadolou Agency.
Medical teams are tending to the wounded and reports state that Turkish Airlines staff have been wounded in the attack. Many of the injured are being taken to nearby hospitals in Bakirkoy.
Turkish Airlines has cancelled all flights until 8:30am Wednesday morning. Flights from other airlines at Ataturk International Airport are facing major delays and suspensions.
President Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Interior Minister Efkan Ala and Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar met in Ankara after which Prime Minister Yildirim left for Istanbul.
In a written statement President Erdogan said, “This attack shows the dark face of terror that targets innocent civilians. This attack does not produce any results, it aims to produce propaganda against our country using the blood and pain of innocent people.”
What do we know so far about the attack at Ataturk International Airport?
-At least 31 people have been killed, 147 more have been wounded, and 6 are in critical condition
-The attack took place at 9:30pm local time (1830 GMT)
-Two suicide bombers are confirmed in the attack but a third bomber is suspected to have been involved
-The terrorists could not get past the x-ray checkpoint at the international arrivals terminal
-AK-47’s and suicide vests were used by the perpetrators of the attacks.
-Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was briefed by Interior Minister Efkan Ala and Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin and has ordered the formation of a crisis desk.
-Turkey’s Justice Minister has said that one of the attackers used an AK-47 to open indiscriminate fire and then blew up his suicide vest.
-The attackers failed to enter the airport.
-Flights in and out of Ataturk International Airport are facing major delays and suspensions