The Istanbul Atatürk Airport was attacked during the first hours of this Wednesday. Three men armed with guns and explosives rushed into the facility with deadly intentions.
The reports say that the men first opened fire with automatic guns before one of them blew himself up at the entrance of the international airport.
Then, the other two continued shooting until they reached the x-ray security scanner area where they detonated their bombs. According to the officials, there are at least 36 fatal victims and almost 150 more people were injured, 6 of them severely affected.
The Atatürk Airport is the main international terminal in Istanbul, Turkey. It was named after the founder and first president of the country, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. It registers the biggest amount of flights in the city with the widest variety of destinations which means the building is always very crowded. In 2015, around 60 million passengers went through its gates which sets it in the 11th place of the busiest airports in the world.
“According to the information I was given, a terrorist at the international terminal entrance first opened fire with a Kalashnikov and then blew himself up,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told the local press.
It all started soon after midnight
The first reports of gun shots and explosions at the airport were reported around 1 A.M. According to the officials the terminal’s security shot the assailants to neutralize them, but everything happened too fast, and they managed to get in position to set the explosives. However, most of the people inside the building managed to flee the place after hearing the first shots.
Around 2 P.M. the authorities confirmed the explosions had been the result of a suicide bomb attack, and they reported three unknown attackers. The death toll raised by the hour, and so far, the authorities have acknowledged at least 50 dead. Even though the identity of the terrorists is still unknown, the authorities hold ISIS as the prime suspect based on the modus operandi.
At 3:00 P.M. the Istanbul Atatürk Airport was officially closed, but they continued to receive the rest of the scheduled incoming flights.
ISIS activity has been increasing in foreign soil over the last few months
Te latest attack at Atatürk Airport is the first time the busiest terminal in the city is targeted by terrorist. However, other airports in the country have seen a similar situation, and the problem has extended to a lot of other countries especially in Europe. Since the Iraqi government launched Mission Fallujah, the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State or ISIS, has been much more active around the world.
Specialists speculate that since the terrorist are losing a lot of territory in the Middle East, they are activating sleeping agents in other countries in a desperate move to continue spreading the terror. In spite of all the apparent evidence, no terrorist group has taken credit.
Officials say police opened fire on two suspects who blew themselves up before security checkpoint https://t.co/pIds2HI8RV #Istanbul
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Source: Indian Express