41 dead, 239 wounded in Istanbul attack

 

41 dead, 239 wounded in Istanbul attack
Passengers embrace each other as they wait outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, early Wednesday, June 29, 2016 following their evacuation after a blast.

Istanbul - It is the deadliest of four attacks to rock Turkey's biggest city this year.

By AP/AFP

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Published: Wed 29 Jun 2016, 11:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Jun 2016, 8:44 AM

A triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport has killed at least 41 people, including foreigners, with Turkey's prime minister saying early signs pointed to an assault by Daesh.
The attackers began spraying bullets at the international terminal entrance before blowing themselves up at around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) Tuesday, Turkish authorities said.
The Latest on the explosions at Istanbul's Ataturk airport:
41 dead, 239 wounded in Istanbul attack
A triple suicide bombing at Istanbul’s international airport left 41 people dead and 239 wounded, the city governor said in a statement.
The governor’s office said 109 out of 239 wounded were discharged from hospital. Thirteen of the dead were foreign nationals, it added.
Pakistan condemns Istanbul airport blasts
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday condemned the terrorist attack at the Istanbul airport that left at least 36 people dead.

The explosions hit the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on Tuesday evening, forcing the suspension of all flights.

Sharif also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, a statement from his office said.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said in Ankara that three terrorists opened fire at random and then blew themselves up at the airport.
Ukrainian, Iranian among 36 people killed 
One Ukrainian and one Iranian citizen were among 36 people killed by three suicide bombers in an attack at Istanbul's main international airport on Tuesday night blamed on Daesh militants, officials from the two countries said on Wednesday. 
Around 150 people were wounded in the attack and Saudi media reported that among those hurt were seven Saudis, who were in good condition. 
Turkish PM says bombed airport has reopened
Turkish officials say Istanbul's busy Ataturk International Airport has reopened, hours after three suicide bombers killed 36 and wounded 147.
Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters that air traffic returned to normal and "Our airport has been opened to flights and departures from 02:20 (local time) on," in a press statement at the airport early Wednesday morning.
Turkish Airline's website says "flight operations have been restarted" and instructs passengers to monitor actual flight information.
France condemns 'odious' airport attack
France's foreign minister has condemned the attack on Istanbul's airport as "odious and cowardly." 
Offering condolences, Jean-Marc Ayrault assured that France "is at Turkey's side in the fight against terrorism." 
As usual in such circumstances, France opened a crisis cell to maintain close contact with Turkish authorities, and provides any needed instructions to the French community there. 
Ayrault counseled prudence to French people in Turkey, a prime destination for French tourists.
Albanian leader condemns 'barbarous' attack
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, whose plane landed in Istanbul minutes after the attacks on Istanbul's airport, has expressed his condolences to the victims.
Rama said in a message on Twitter that he felt "deep pity for the lost innocent lives in that barbarous act of those who have neither God or hope nor a place among the people."
Rama, Finance Minister Arben Ahmetaj and a delegation on Wednesday are on an official visit to Turkey. Rama said all of the planned meetings would go ahead.
German security chief condemns
Germany's top security official is condemning the attack on Istanbul's airport as "cowardly and brutal."
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said his thoughts were with the victims and their families, and vowed that "we will continue our fight against terrorism together with our allies with full force."
De Maiziere said in a statement Wednesday he was "deeply shocked by the cowardly and brutal attack on Istanbul's airport."
He says "terrorism has once again shown its ugly face and innocent people have lost their lives."
NATO chief says alliance members support Turkey
NATO's chief has strongly condemned the "horrific attacks" at Istanbul's airport, and said Turkey's 27 allies in the US-led political and military organization stand with it.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary-general, said in a statement: "My thoughts are with the families of the victims, those injured and the people of Turkey.
"There can be no justification for terrorism," Stoltenberg said. "NATO Allies stand in solidarity with Turkey, united in our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms."
Daylight reveals damage to Istanbul airport
Officials on Wednesday morning began assessing the damage caused at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport by three suicide bombers who killed dozens and wounded more than 140.
Workers were brought in to remove debris left by the blast, while in the daylight the damage to the terminal became clearer with even ceiling panels hit.
The airport was partially reopened, with the information board inside the airport showing that about one third of scheduled flights have been canceled, with a host of others delayed.
Istanbul Airport Attack
It is the deadliest of four attacks to rock Turkey's biggest city this year, with two others blamed on Daesh and another claimed by a militant Kurdish group.
Though there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday's carnage, "the evidence points to Daesh", Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told journalists at the scene, using another name for the militants. 
Watch: The horrifying moment the suicide bomber blew himself up


He said the dead included foreigners, but gave no further details. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag put the number of wounded at 147.
The attack prompted the suspension of all flights at the airport - one of Europe's busiest hubs.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an international "joint fight" against terror, as Western allies including the United States condemned the "heinous" attack.
Yildirim said the suicide bombers had arrived in a taxi and opened fire on passengers with automatic rifles before blowing themselves up.
Security camera footage widely circulated on social media appeared to capture two of the blasts. In one clip a huge ball of flame erupts at an entrance to the terminal building, scattering terrified passengers.
Another video shows a black-clad attacker running inside the building before collapsing to the ground - apparently felled by a police bullet - and blowing himself up.
Tuesday's attack follows coordinated Daesh suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a city metro station in March that left 32 people dead.
An AFP photographer saw bodies covered with sheets at the terminal, which bore heavy damage from the blasts.
Bullet holes peppered the windows and shattered glass lay on the floor, while abandoned luggage was scattered everywhere.
Hundreds of police and firefighters including forensic officers were at the scene.
"Somebody came and shot at us and then my sister ran," Otfah Mohamed Abdullah told AFP.
"I don't know which way she ran and after that I fell down. I was on the ground till he (the gunman) stopped... I can't find my sister."
"I was waiting for my flight to Tokyo and suddenly people started running and I followed them. I heard gun shots and everyone was panicking," Japanese tourist Yumi Koyi told AFP.
There was chaos at the nearest hospital in Istanbul's Bakirkoy district, which was inundated with relatives desperate for news of loved ones.
Yildirim visited the hospital to offer his condolences to the victims.
Brussels airport, the scene of suicide bombings just months ago, tweeted condolences, saying: "Our thoughts are with the victims of the attacks at @istanbulairport."
Security expert Abdullah Agar told CNN Turk the attack bore the hallmarks of the Daesh.
"It really bears a resemblance to their methods," he said in reference to the Brussels bombings, which were claimed by Daesh.
The US and French consulates warned people to stay away from the area.
Erdogan met with his prime minister and military chief after news of the carnage broke.
"We urge the world, especially Western countries, to take a firm stand against terrorism," Erdogan said in a statement.
"Despite paying a heavy price, Turkey has the power, determination and capacity to continue the fight against terrorism until the end."
Istanbul, a major tourism hub that is home to some 15 million people, has suffered a series of attacks in recent months, including a bombing in the heart of the tourist district that killed a dozen German visitors and was blamed on Daesh.
Two months later, three Israelis and an Iranian were killed in a bomb attack on the city's main Istiklal shopping street, also blamed on Daesh.
A blast on the tarmac at Istanbul's other international airport, Sabiha Gokcen, killed a cleaner in December.
Turkey has been hit by at least five attacks blamed on Daesh, including a blast in Ankara in October 2015 that left over 100 dead, though the group has never formally claimed responsibility for an attack in Turkey.
Ankara has meanwhile launched a sustained offensive against the outlawed rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) following the collapse of a ceasefire last year.
Hundreds of members of the Turkish security forces have since been killed in PKK attacks.
 

Passengers rest on the pavement outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, early Wednesday, June 29, 2016 following their evacuation after a blast.
Passengers rest on the pavement outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport, early Wednesday, June 29, 2016 following their evacuation after a blast.

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