According to statements of officials, a terrorist armed with a Kalashnikov rifle first opened fire on the public near the airport’s x-ray security checkpoint at the arrivals hall before blowing himself up, while another blew himself up before reaching a security checkpoint. A third attacker was in the parking lot, where he was noticed by police, who shouted “suicide bomber” but was unable to stop him detonating explosives.
“The terrorists came to the airport in a taxi and then carried out their attacks,” the Prime Minister said. “The fact that they were carrying guns added to the toll. Preliminary findings suggest all three attackers first opened fire then detonated themselves.”
Hours after the attack, PM Yıldırım didn’t clarify why but said early indications pointed to so-called Islamic State behind the attacks but no-one has so far admitted the attack.
At least 36 people were killed, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said. An additional 147 people were wounded, Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said.
Turkish President Erdoğan released a statement condemning the attack, saying that it “shows that terrorism strikes with no regard to faith and values.” The killings took place on during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Erdoğan called on the international community to take a firm stand against terrorism and said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.
Turkey has suffered a raft of bombings this year, including two suicide attacks in touristic areas of Istanbul, blamed on Islamic State, and two car bombings in the capital, Ankara, which were claimed by a Kurdish militant group.
In the last terrorist attack, a bus carrying Turkish police officers appeared to be the target of the blast, which struck during the morning rush hour in the historic Beyazıt Square district near Istanbul University, killing 11 people and wounding 36.
Istanbul’s position bridging Europe and Asia has made Ataturk airport, Turkey’s largest, a major transit hub for passengers across the world. Istanbul’s Ataturk airport was the 11th busiest airport in the world last year, with 61.8 million passengers, according to Airports Council International. It is also one of the fastest-growing airports in the world, seeing 9.2 percent more passengers last year than in 2014.
Born and raised in Istanbul where I’m a medical student at YeditepeUniversity.