At least ten people have been killed in an attack on Turkey’s largest airport, Istanbul Atatürk, according to the country’s justice minister.
Two suspects blew themselves up outside the security checkpoint at the entry to the international terminal, after police opened fire on them, according to another Turkish official.
A spokesperson for the Istanbul police told the Guardian that “a bomb exploded at the airport and there are many casualties”, adding that the exact number is not yet known.
Preliminary reports suggested that at least ten people were killed in the attack and 20 wounded, justice minister Bekir Bozdağ told parliament in Ankara. Bozdağ expressed his disgust at what he called a “terrorist attack”.
He added that he had information concerning the terrorist group responsible for the attack, but that he would not share it until it was confirmed.
The police spokesperson said that one person, “maybe a terrorist”, opened fire at police guarding the outside of the airport in order to gain access to the international terminal before detonating a bomb, “maybe a suicide bomb”.
State-run TRT television said an explosion hit a control point at the international terminal of the airport.
A witness told broadcaster CNN Turk that gunfire was also heard from the car park at the airport. Taxis and ambulances were ferrying wounded people from the airport.
Bozdağ said that the attackers used AK-47 assault rifles in their initial attack. A picture of what appears to be an AK-47 rifle on the floor was being circulated on social media on Tuesday night.
Police barred access to the airport, and some flights have been diverted away from Istanbul. Videos shown by TRT showed travelers being evacuated to safety.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday’s blasts, and Turkish authorities issued a broadcast ban on the attack. Turkish media report that all flight traffic has been stopped and that police have blocked all the roads leading from and to the airport.
Turkey has been on high security alert after a string of terrorist attacks.
Two deadly bombings in Istanbul earlier this year were blamed on Islamic State jihadis. In early June a car suicide bomb killed twelve people in the central Vezneciler district of Istanbul in an attack claimed by radical Kurdish militants.
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Source: The Guardian