At least 36 victims and three suicide bombers were killed while scores of others were injured in a terror attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, Turkey’s Prime Minister announced on Wednesday morning.
Briefing the media, Binali Yildirim condemned the attack and extended condolences to the victims’ families while he confirmed that airport operations had resumed.
“Our airport has been reopened to flights and air traffic has returned to normal,” he said.
Even though there are strong indications that the so called Islamic State terrorist group is responsible for the attack in which three suicide bombers are believed to have been involved, the PM stated that police are conducting ongoing investigations.
Asked whether an attacker may have escaped authorities, Yildirim denied the claim but stressed that security officials are considering all possibilities.
“We have injured people. Many of our wounded have been lightly injured,” he said. “Some foreign nationals were also injured,” he added.
The attackers arrived at the airport by a taxi, according to Yildirim, outlining that “there is no security gap at the airport.”
The timing of the attack was very “meaningful”, he said, just as Turkey had begun new foreign relations with Russia and Israel.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag commented earlier that an attacker opened fire using an AK-47 assault rifle at the international terminal before detonating a suicide bomb.
Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said law enforcement believed three terrorists had blown themselves up at the entrance to the terminal at the airport after police fired at them.
President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the terror attack with Yildirim and Hulusi Akar, General Staff Chief at the Turkish Armed Forces, at the Presidential Palace.
Police are still at the airport and access to and from the airport that had been blocked has been restored.
Yildirim was briefed by Interior Minister Efkan Ala and Sahin, and has ordered the formation of a crisis desk.
Source: Anadolu Agency