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Death toll from Istanbul airport bomb attacks rises

Death toll from Istanbul airport bomb attacks rises


The death toll from a suicide bomb attack at Turkey’s Ataturk airport has risen to 41, Turkish officials have said.

The multiple suicide bomb and gun attacks on the International Airport in Istanbul left over 200 others wounded.

Three attackers opened fire near an entrance to the terminal, randomly shooting at people in the departure halls, before blowing themselves up near the arrivals hall on the floor below.

Police had shot at two of the attackers to try to stop them just before they reached a security checkpoint.

“I was getting my three suitcases wrapped when I heard the blast. Police told us to lie down. The wrapping machine’s steel case protected us from getting caught in the crossfire. Someone next to us got shot, then we saw the bomb in the x-ray explode. Everybody around it died in that blast,” said a traveler who witnessed the attack.

Urgent messages went out for blood donations as the dead and injured were ferried to nearby hospitals.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim who immediately went to the airport told reporters the fact that the bombers were also carrying automatic rifles increased the gravity of the situation.

“Our security forces’ investigations indicate that the terror attack was carried out by ISIL. …There was no security gap at the airport,” he said.

Ataturk is Turkey’s largest airport and a major transport hub for travellers from around the world.

Most of those who died were Turkish nationals but foreigners were also among the dead and injured.

Turkey has faced a string of terrorist attacks over the past year, including several in Istanbul, as it confronts threats from both the Islamic State and Kurdish militants fighting a war with the Turkish state in the southeast.