09:42 Jun. 29, 2016
Attack on Europe's third-busiest airport is one of the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey
Three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Istanbul's main international airport on Tuesday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey's Prime Minister said appeared to have been an attack by Islamic State militants.
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"This attack, targeting innocent people is a vile, planned terrorist act. "There is initial evidence that each of the three suicide bombers blew themselves up after opening fire," he told reporters at the airport. Yildirim said the attackers had come to the airport by taxi and that preliminary findings pointed to Islamic State responsibility.
Police fired shots to try to stop two of the attackers just before they reached a security checkpoint at the arrivals hall, but they detonated their explosives, a Turkish official said.
Most of those killed were Turkish nationals but foreigners were also among the dead, a Turkish official said. According to Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, one Ukrainian also died in the blast, and another one was wounded.
A CCTV security camera video was uploaded online, capturing the exact moment of one of the explosions.
The attack on Europe's third-busiest airport was one of the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey, which is part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State and is struggling to contain the spillover from neighboring Syria's civil war. It is also battling an insurgency by Kurdish militants in its largely Kurdish southeast.
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Authorities initially halted the takeoff of scheduled flights from the airport and some flights to the airport were diverted. Yildirim said later air traffic had resumed. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.