: AFP: Turkey charges 11 Russians over Istanbul airport attack

11:57 Jul. 6, 2016

AFP: Turkey charges 11 Russians over Istanbul airport attack

Passengers embrace each other at the entrance to Istanbul's Ataturk airport, early Wednesday, June 29, 2016 following their evacuation after a blast. (AP Photo)

Suspects are reportedly ISIS members

Seventeen people including 11 Russians have been charged over the Istanbul airport attack, Dogan news agency reported Tuesday, bringing to 30 the total number charged in connection with the suicide assault.

Read also: Istanbul Terror Attack: Death toll rises to 43

Ankara says the Islamic State group is behind the June 28 gun and bomb attack at Ataturk international airport, which left 45 people dead including 19 foreigners.

Authorities have identified the bombers as a Russian, an Uzbek and a Kyrgyz national.

Turkish media have identified the strike's organiser as Akhmed Chatayev, the one-armed Chechen leader of an IS cell in Istanbul who allegedly masterminded two other deadly attacks that killed tourists in the city.

Read also: Ukrainian citizens arrive back after deadly blasts in Istanbul airport

Police also detained two suspected IS jihadists -- Kyrgyz nationals -- at the airport on Sunday. Night-vision goggles and military clothing were reportedly found in their suitcases, along with passports in different names.

The men had just arrived in Istanbul from Ukraine, NTV television reported.

Read also: Ukrainians lay flowers at Kyiv's Turkish Embassy to mourn terror attack victims (photos)

Central Asia's former Soviet republics have been a major source of foreign jihadists travelling to fight with IS and other extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.

Turkey has been rocked by a series of attacks over the past year, blamed on both IS jihadists and Kurdish rebels.

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