Deadly attack on Istanbul airport

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(BBC) A gun and bomb attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport has killed at least 10 people and injured others, with reports of at least one suicide bomber. At least 20 people were also wounded with casualties being reportedly rushed to hospital in taxis.

Police opened fire to stop the suspects at an entry point, Reuters reports.

Ambulances flocked to the airport after the explosion (Reuters photo)
Ambulances flocked to the airport after the explosion (Reuters photo)

It appears that the attackers detonated explosives at the entrance to the international terminal.

“Ten people have been killed according to a preliminary toll,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said.

“According to the information I was given, a terrorist at the international terminal entrance first opened fire with a Kalashnikov and then blew himself up,” the minister added, according to the Associated Press.

Turkish media report that two suicide bombers were involved.

In December, a blast on the tarmac at a different Istanbul airport, Sabiha Gokcen, killed a cleaner.

Recent bomb attacks in Turkey have been linked to Kurdish separatists or the so-called Islamic State group.

Security concerns and a Russian boycott have hit the country’s tourist sector this year.

Last year, Ataturk overtook Frankfurt airport to enter the top three busiest airports in Europe after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

More than 61 million passengers travelled used the airport in 2015.

A US State Department travel warning for Turkey, originally published in March and updated on Monday, urges US citizens to “exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.”

 

 

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