Istanbul blast: Suspected Islamic State suicide bombers kill 36 at Ataturk airport

By: | Updated: June 29, 2016 4:30 PM

Istanbul airport attack: At least 36 people were killed and 140 injured in twin explosions that rocked Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on Wednesday, said senior Turkish officials.

 Istanbul airport attack:Istanbul airport attack: Passengers embrace each other as they wait outside Istanbul’s Ataturk airport following their evacuation after a blast. (AP)

Istanbul airport attack: At least 36 people were killed and 140 injured in twin explosions that rocked Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on Wednesday, said senior Turkish officials.

The officials said that the death toll is expected to rise with initial indications suggesting Islamic State group behind the attack.

An official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attackers detonated the explosives at the entrance of the international terminal before entering the x-ray security check. In a video posted online by Turkish media Habertuk TV, security forces were seen rushing into the airport to tackle the situation.

The victims included some foreigners, he said, adding that many of the wounded have minor injuries but others are more badly hurt.

Check LIVE updates here:

10.00 am: Government is committed to ensure the safety of Indian airports and skies, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today said as he expressed shock over the deadly terror attack at Istanbul airport. More than 30 people have been killed and hundreds injured in the terror attack at Ataturk airport in Istanbul.

9.30 am: There has been no report so far of any Indian casualty in the terror attack at the international terminal of Turkey’s Ataturk airport where three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 36 people.

8.55 am: Ws helped by d kindest staff at Istanbul arport hours ago. Shocking news. Innocents killed 4 religion.V must stand united against terrorism, tweeted Hrithik Roshan

8.45 am:  A stoppage of flights to and from the United States and Istanbul Ataturk Airport lasted several hours but has been lifted, said a U.S. official who spoke on background to discuss sensitive security issues. The official said the stoppage was lifted in the middle of the evening. The official says 10 passenger flights were in the air, flying from Turkey to the U.S., at the time of the stoppage and they have all landed. However, cargo planes and corporate jets in the U.S. would have been most affected by the stoppage. The official says the decision on lifting the stoppage was made in coordination with the Transportation Security Administration.

8.30 am: “Attack in Istanbul is inhuman & horrific. I condemn it strongly. My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly”, PM Narendra Modi tweeted

8.00 am: “Shocked &deeply saddened by news of yet another terror attack in #Istanbul.Strongly condemn this cowardly attack on innocents. My prayers are with the families of the victims & the ppl of #Istanbul”, Rahul Gandhi tweeted

7.15 am: The US Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday lifted an order issued earlier in the evening grounding flights between the United States and Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport after a bomb attack there.

7.00 am (IST): All three suicide bombers opened fire and then blew themselves up, initial findings suggest: Turkish PM.

3.50 a.m: Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Turkey says at least seven Saudis were injured in the Istanbul airport attack and all are in stable condition. The embassy statement was carried on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned al-Ekhbaria news channel early Wednesday. Muslim-majority Turkey is a popular tourist destination for Arabs from the Gulf, particularly during the summer. Tuesday’s attack also comes a week before the Eid holiday, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

3.25 a.m: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the ”terrorist attack” at Istanbu’s Ataturkl airport and is calling for the perpetrators to be identified and brought to justice. U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the secretary-general ”stands firmly by Turkey as it confronts this threat and stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism.” Mogens Lykketoft, president of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, expressed anger and grief at the attack.

3.10 a.m: Turkey’s prime minister says 36 people and three suicide bombers have died in the attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says that so far all indications point to the Islamic State group being behind the attack. He says the attackers arrived at the airport in a taxi and blew themselves up after opening fire. Asked whether a fourth attacker might have escaped, he says authorities have no such assessment but are considering every possibility. He says the victims include some foreigners and that many of the dozens wounded have minor injuries but others are more badly hurt. He says the attacks come as Turkey is having success in fighting terrorism and trying to normalize ties with neighbors like Russia and Israel.

2.50 am: missed connecting flight at Istanbul n wer stuck at airport next flight ws next day,but took economy n flew out earlier. #Prayers4istanbul, tweeted Hrithik Roshan

2.45 a.m: White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the United States condemns in the strongest terms possible the attacks at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport that killed at least 31 people and left dozens more wounded. Earnest says the Istanbul airport, like the Brussels airport that was attacked earlier this year, is a symbol of international connections and the ties that bind nations together. He says the U.S. sends its deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured. Earnest says the United States remains steadfast in its support for Turkey, a NATO ally and partner, ”along with all of our friends and allies around the world, as we continue to confront the threat of terrorism.”

2.35 a.m: Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag says at least 31 people have been killed and some 147 wounded in the attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport. Another senior government official says the death toll could climb much higher. The senior official at first said close to 50 people had already died, but later said that the figure was expected to rise to close to 50. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol, also said all initial indications suggest the Islamic State group was behind the attack.

1.40 a.m: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has released a statement condemning the attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, which took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He says the attack ”shows that terrorism strikes with no regard to faith and values.” He has called on the international community to take a firm stand against terrorism and vowed to keep up Turkey’s struggle against terror groups.

1.20 a.m: A senior Turkish government official has told The Associated Press all initial indications suggest the Islamic State group is behind the attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.The official also as many as four militants may have been involved in the attack Tuesday at the airport’s international terminal. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol.

12.55 a.m: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has condemned the attacks on Ataturk airport in Istanbul that have killed at least 28 people. He says on the sidelines of an ecumenical Iftar dinner in Berlin that he’s shocked by the news. He says the background of the attacks is still unclear, ”but everything suggests that terrorists have once again hit the Turkish metropolis. ”We grieve for the victims and with the relatives. We stand by Turkey.”

12.50 a.m: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says officials are still trying to figure out who attacked the Ataturk airport in Istanbul and what exactly happened. Kerry was speaking at the Festival of Ideas in Aspen, Colorado. He says ”This is daily fare and that’s why I say the first challenge we need to face is countering non-state, violent actors.”

12:40 a.m: Hundreds of passengers are flooding out of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport after an attack that killed at least 28 people. Twelve-year-old Hevin Zini had just arrived from Dusseldorf with her family and was in tears from the shock. She tells The Associated Press that there was blood on the ground and everything was blown up to bits. South African Judy Favish, who spent two days in Istanbul as a layover on her way home from Dublin, had just checked in when she heard an explosion followed by gunfire and a loud bang. She says she hid under the counter for some time. Favish says passengers were ushered to a cafeteria at the basement level where they were kept for more than an hour before being allowed outside.

12.15 a.m: Turkey’s NTV television is quoting Istanbul’s governor as saying 28 people were killed in the attack at the city’s airport and some 60 people wounded. Governor Vasip Sahin also told the channel that three suicide bombers carried out the attack Tuesday. Officials had previously said one or two attackers had blown themselves up at the entrance to the international terminal at the airport after police fired at them.

12.10 a.m: Hundreds of passengers are spilling out of Istanbul’s Ataturk airport with their suitcases in hand or stacked onto trolleys after two explosions killed at least 10 people. Others are sitting on the grass, their bodies lit by the flashing lights of ambulances and police cars, which are the only kind of vehicles allowed to reach the airport. Two South African tourists, Paul and Susie Roos from Cape Town, were at the airport and due to fly home at the time of the explosions Tuesday. They were shaken by what they witnessed.

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