36 killed in Istanbul airport suicide bombing attacks

By @chelean on
  • Forensic experts work outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016.
    Forensic experts work outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, June 28, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer
  • A weapon is seen on the floor at Ataturk airport after suicide bombers opened fire before blowing themselves up at the entrance, in Istanbul, Turkey June 28, 2016.
    A weapon is seen on the floor at Ataturk airport after suicide bombers opened fire before blowing themselves up at the entrance, in Istanbul, Turkey June 28, 2016. Courtesy of 140journo/via Reuters
  • Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016.
    Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. Reuters/Osman Orsal
  • Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016.
    Ambulance cars arrive at Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. Reuters/Osman Orsal
  • Istanbul attack
    A view of the entrance of the Ataturk international airport after two suicide bombers opened fire before blowing themselves up at the entrance, in Istanbul, Turkey June 28, 2016. Courtesy of 140journo/via Reuters
  • Paramedics help injured outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016.
    Paramedics help injured outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. Reuters/Ismail Coskun/IHLAS News Agency
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Istanbul’s main international airport has been rocked by three explosions suspected to be terror attacks. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the Islamic State appears to be behind the suicide bombing attacks, which saw at least 36 people dead.

On Tuesday around 10 p.m. local time (5 a.m. AEST Wednesday), three suicide bombers carried out the attacks at three separate areas of the Ataturk airport: at the entrance of international flights terminal, domestic flights terminal and the parking lot.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said (via Daily Sabah) that one of the terrorists opened fire on people with an AK-47 automatic rifle before blowing himself up. Another Turkish official spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity to reveal that security forces fired shots at the attackers before the explosion.

Yildirim said initial findings point to Daesh (ISIL) as the group behind the attack. At least 36 people have been reported dead from the explosions, while more than 100 people were injured. There have been no claims yet for the responsibility of the attacks.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip has called for Western countries to demonstrate a “decisive stance” against terrorist organisations, saying that terrorism has “no regard for faith or values.” The Istanbul attacks took place during the holy month of Ramadan.

“All the bad terrorist scenarios, acts, even we ear to bring them into our minds, will come true one by one if all countries do not carry out a joint fight against terrorist organisations,” he said in a statement. He also offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said they are “urgently seeking” to learn if any Australians were affected in the attacks.

“The Australian Government condemns what appears to be a coordinated terror attack on the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, on 28 June. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the people of Turkey,” Bishop said in a statement.

“We have updated our travel advice for Turkey to reflect the attacks. We continue to advise Australian travellers to reconsider their need to travel to Istanbul. Australians in Istanbul should remain attentive to their surroundings and follow the instructions of local authorities.”