Suicide bombers who killed 43 on Tuesday at the Istanbul airport were citizens from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan respectively, said a Turkish official on Thursday. Police already arrested 13 people related to the Islamic State, after conducting a massive manhunt in the Turkish city.
Attackers who are possibly linked to ISIS committed suicide bombings on Tuesday at Atatürk Airport, the Turkey’s biggest airport. The attack injured 238 people, of which 94 are still being cared in the hospital, said the Istanbul Governor’s office to The Associated Press (AP).
Police carried out raids in more than 16 regions in Istanbul on Thursday, looking for ISIS militants. A forensic team is analyzing DNA remains, but the task has been complicated due to soft-tissue damage, an official told AP.
Authorities believe the militant group based in Iraq and Syria is responsible for the terror attack at the airport. ISIS has not claimed responsibility yet. Turkish media said on Thursday the Russian attacker entered the nation on May 25.
Dogan News Agency said the man rented a residence in Fatih, where the governor’s office and police headquarters are located. The Karsi newspaper said the attackers belonged to a seven-person ISIS cell. They entered the airport wearing winter clothing when temperatures were of 80°F.
President Barack Obama: beyond killing innocents, terrorists are being defeated
Police also detained nine suspects possibly related to ISIS in Izmir, a city on Turkey’s Aegean coast. Officers conducted raids in four neighborhoods: Konak, Bucak, Karabaglar, and Bornova, said Anadolu Agency, according to AP. They found three hunting firearms and documents linked to IS.
Arrested suspects were apparently receiving economical support and logistic indications from the terror group. The Turkish government has condemned ISIS for killing residents and tourists in Ankara and Istanbul in 2016 bombings.
United States President Barack Obama sentenced the attacks in Istanbul on Wednesday. He said that “beyond killing innocents” terrorists are currently losing areas they previously controlled. He said a link with ISIS had not been confirmed yet.
“They’re going to be defeated in Syria, they’re going to be defeated in Iraq. They are going to be on the run wherever they hide. And we will not rest until we have dismantled these networks of hate that have an impact on the entire civilized world,” President Obama was quoted as saying by U.S.A. Today.
Istanbul victims, U.S. presidential candidates’ response
Families and friends of Tuesday’s victims gathered in Istanbul to pay respect to their loved ones. Turkish officials announced a new death toll of 43 people on Thursday. Nisreen Melhim, a 28-year-old woman, and her 3-year-old died in the attack, said AP.
Melhim was on vacation alongside her daughter and husband. The three-member family had planned to visit Istanbul before going to Palestine for Ramadan. They were leaving the arrivals stand when the bombings took place.
Nisreen’s husband told AP the family heard the shooting in the distance. He then found his wife and daughter bleeding. He said terrorists were “brutal criminals” who affected innocent people.
Republican candidate for U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton have commented the Istanbul attacks as part of their campaigns.
ISIS exploded on Hillary Clinton's watch- she's done nothing about it and never will. Not capable!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2016
We must do everything possible to keep this horrible terrorism outside the United States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2016
Terrorists are taking advantage of the loopholes in our gun laws. Here's how we stop them: https://t.co/Tn9OyVShZn
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 28, 2016
Source: The Associated Press