Istanbul airport explosions: 28 dead, 60 injured, Turkish official says
[Breaking news update]
At least 28 people have been killed and 60 others wounded in the attack on Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey, according to Turkey’s semi-official news agency Anadolu. The report says six of the wounded are in a critical condition. A total of 49 ambulances were sent to the site.
— Turkey’s Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag earlier said at least 10 people were killed and 20 others injured. The two suicide bombers were also killed. Bozdag said one attacker “first opened fire with a Kalashnikov then detonated himself” at the airport entrance.
In total two bombs exploded. One of them was located just outside the terminal on the pavement, the other was at the security gate at the entrance to the airport.
Authorities said no bombs exploded within the airport building itself, according to the minister.
— A video posted to Twitter shows a view from a camera inside the airport terminal. A few dozen people are walking around when a bright flash and fireball erupt in the background.
— A Turkish official told CNN that police fired shots at suspects near the international terminal in an effort to neutralize them.
— Videos posted on social media show travelers sitting on the airport floor. A man shouts, “Get down! Get down!” Someone cries as a gunshot rings out.
— Ataturk Airport is “one of the most secure airports in the world,” CNN senior law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes says. But the airport has been “very overwhelmed for several decades with terrorism from PKK.”
— The U.S. embassy in Ankara, the Turkish capital, is sending consular officers to the airport to account for any potential U.S. victims. But there are no indications of any American casualties at this point, a senior State Department official told CNN’s Elise Labott.
— The attacks happened on a warm summer night at the airport, east of Istanbul, that is the 11th busiest in the world in terms of passenger traffic. CNN’s Ali Veshi says it is a modern, sophisticated airport. “There are all of the major European and American boutiques there,” said Velshi, who has traveled through Turkey many times. “… You see people of all shapes and colors, in all sorts of dress. If you want to target the cosmopolitan nature of Istanbul, this is possibly the most cosmopolitan, heavily populated part. You can target tourist areas, but this is the part where the world comes together.”
Two explosions and gunfire rocked Istanbul Ataturk airport Tuesday, Turkey’s semi-official news agency Anadolu reported.
The report referenced multiple injuries, but the exact number was not immediately clear.
The report says the explosions occurred in the international departures area of the airport.
Video on Turkish television showed a string of ambulances and fire trucks at the scene as authorities scurried under crime-scene tape.
Turkey has been rocked by a string of terror attacks over the past year as it weathers bombing campaigns carried out both by ISIS and Kurdish militants.
As part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, Turkey allows coalition planes to fly raids on ISIS targets in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its territory.
And last year Turkey resumed hostilities with the PKK, Kurdish militant separatists, in earnest after a two-year cease fire broke down.
The PKK, or Kurdistan Worker’s Party, has been in an armed struggle with the Turkish government for decades and is considered a terror group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
In March, at least 37 were killed when a car bomb detonated near a bus stop in the Turkish capital, Ankara, in an attack claimed by a Kurdish militant group.
Six days later an ISIS suicide bomber detonated himself on one of Istanbul’s main streets, killing four.
A month earlier, 28 were killed in a blast targeting military vehicles in central Ankara. A Kurdish group claimed responsibility.
And in January, at least 10 German tourists died in a suicide bombing in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square that Turkish authorities linked to ISIS.
The violence has had an impact on Turkey’s tourism industry, a key sector of the national economy.
Developing story – more to come