Officials in Turkey say that at least 28 people have been killed and 60 more injured in twin blasts that rocked Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Tuesday evening. The explosions were reportedly suicide bomb attacks.
A Turkish official had confirmed to Reuters that two explosions have hit the airport. According to some Turkish media, the blasts were terrorist attacks targeting two separate locations in the airport.
Twenty-eight people have lost their lives in the blasts that hit the airport, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin was quoted Turkey’s NTV channel.
A BBC report said that up to three attackers were involved, with one reportedly opening fire with a Kalashnikov as they targeted an entry point to the terminal.
Turkey has borne the brunt of major terrorist attacks in the recent past with several suicide bombing rocking the streets of Istanbul. All recent bombings have been linked to either Kurdish separatists or the so-called Islamic State group.
BBC’s Mark Lowen reported that the Tuesday’s deadly attacks appeared to have been ‘a major, co-ordinated assault.’
There are X-ray scanners at the entry to the terminal but security checks for cars are limited.
According a CNN report, 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.
The US channel’s Ali Veshi described the airport as modern and sophisticated.
He said, “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.”