At least 36 people were killed, 147 injured Tuesday in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s main Atatürk airport, in the latest deadly strike to rock Turkey’s most-populated city, which had many similarities with the deadly attacks carried out in Brussels in March.
Flights partially resumed in the airport on Wednesday morning, while many of the schedule flights were cancelled or delayed.
Reports have said that one Ukrainian and one Iranian national was among those who were killed by the terrorist attack in the airport.
The assessments show that three suicide bombers carried out the attacks in three different spots at the airport, Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin said in a statement released after the attack.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that initial indications suggest the Daesh terror group was behind the attack but the investigation is still underway.
A health official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions, said to the media that six injured were in a critical condition.
The blasts occurred at the entrance of international flights terminal, domestic flights terminal, and the parking lot.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said that one of the terrorists opened fire on people with an AK-47 automatic rifle and then blew himself up.
PM Yıldırım said the air traffic has returned to normal after the attack.
The President met with Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar at the presidential complex upon receiving news of the explosion in Istanbul. Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmuş, Transportation Minister Ahmet Arslan and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan will travel to Istanbul.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged an international “joint fight” against terror after the attack, the fourth deadly bombing in Istanbul this year alone.
According to a Turkish official who spoke to Daily Sabah on the condition of anonymity, security forces fired shots at suspects at the international terminal’s entry in an effort to neutralize them.
Eyewitnesses said that they saw some 30 ambulances enter the airport. The wounded, among them police officers, were being transferred to Bakırköy State Hospital.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım was briefed by Interior Minister Efkan Ala and Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin and has ordered the formation of a crisis desk. Yıldırım also arrived at the airport to follow up with the investigation.
The Turkish airport attack also follows coordinated suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a city metro station in March that left 32 people dead.
Security experts have said that there are striking similarities between Istanbul airport attack and the recent attacks in Brussels airport.
Brussels airport tweeted its condolences, saying: “Our thoughts are with the victims of the attacks at @istanbulairport.
“We wish them, their relatives & all airport staff strength & courage.”
Meanwhile, United States Ambassador to Ankara John Bass has sent a tweet condemning the attack. “Horrified by tonight’s attack at Atatürk airport. We mourn with the families of those lost, and pray for speedy recovery for those wounded,” he said. Meanwhile, the U.S. President Barack Obama was also briefed on the attack.
There have been no claims for the responsibility of the attacks.
11 people were killed in an attack at Istanbul’s city center three weeks ago. The attack, claimed by the PKK-affiliated Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), followed two suicide bombings that hit tourist-heavy areas of Istanbul this year, which were blamed on Daesh.
Located just outside Turkey’s biggest city, Atatürk airport served more than 60 million passengers in 2015, making it one of the busiest in the world.