Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest airport, was the target of a terror attack on Tuesday night. A series of explosions rocked the place, killing 36 people and injuring more than 140.
Reports say there were three suicide bombers, in what appeared to be a coordinated terrorist attack. The nightmare began at around 10:30 p.m. local time, when the gunmen reportedly opened fire at the entrance of the international arrivals area at Istanbul’s airport and in a parking lot, causing chaos and panic.
Witnesses claim one of the attackers had an AK-47 and started shooting before detonating explosives and blowing himself up. All three bombers have been killed.
Ataturk is a major transport hub for international travellers, especially those travelling between Europe and Asia, so foreigners were also among the casualties. Local news agency DHA stated the injured were transferred to Bakirkoy State Hospital.
No one claimed responsibility for the attacks so far, but the first signs point to the so-called Islamic State.
Airports in Turkey have security checks not only at the entrance of terminal buildings but also before entry to departure gates. Despite these security measures, though, Ataturk has long been seen as a vulnerable target.
Flights in and out of the airport were suspended immediately after the attack but have now resumed. However, many routes have been cancelled or suffered great delays.