Istanbul Airport rocked by explosions, 28+ killed
Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Initial reports put the number of wounded at around 60 people. Taxis are ferrying the wounded away from the airport, which officials suspect was hit by a suicide bomber

Three suicide bombers have killed at least 28 and wounded 60 in a 'major, co-ordinated' attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, opening fire with AK-47s and sparking a shoot-out with security personnel before blowing themselves up.  

Eyewitnesses have told how a hero policeman wrestled a suicide bomber to the ground just seconds before he detonated his explosives at the entrance to the airport's international arrivals terminal.

It is believed the men were trying to pass through the airport's security x-ray machines at the entrance to the airport when they were stopped by security officers, and carried out their lethal attack.     

Turkish Airlines is the official airline partner to the Euro 2016 football tournament, being held in France.

 After being stopped as they tried to pass through x-ray machines, the attackers are believed to have opened fire and became locked in a shootout with security and police officers. Some of the wounded are said to be police officers involved in the melee.

Turkish airports have security checks at both at the entrance of terminal buildings and then later before entry to departure gates.

But nevertheless, the airport has long been seen as a vulnerable target, according to the BBC.

While there are x-ray scanners at the entrance security checks for cars are limited, which left the airport exposed to what is being called a 'major, co-ordinated attack'.

The first photographs to emerge from the airport show a scene of devastation, with debris and what appear to be ceiling tiles scattered over the taxi ranks outside the airport.  

One photograph from the scene shows an AK-47 lying abandoned on the floor of the airport following the attack.

Police have begun evacuating the airport terminal, where terrified holidaymakers had previously been gathering to await news following the blasts.

The private DHA news agency said the wounded were being transferred to Bakirkoy State Hospital.

Ambulance crews and emergency services have descended on the stricken airport, as the number of wounded is expected to increase.

A witness told broadcaster CNN Turk that gunfire was heard from the direction of the car park at the airport, which is the largest in Turkey.

Four armed men were reportedly seen running away from the terminal building after the explosions, according to Turkey's NTV channel.  

All flight operation from the airport has been suspended, and passengers hoping to travel were kept inside the airport for their own safety where mobile phone footage captured scenes of terror and confusion as crowds gathered in corridors awaiting news.

 



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