Turkey – (warsoor) – Turkey has declared a day of national mourning after three suicide bombers attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, killing at least 41 people and wounding 239.
The attackers arrived at Ataturk, Europe’s third-busiest airport, late on Tuesday evening where they opened fire before blowing themselves up.
The Turkish government ordered flags to be flown at half-mast on Wednesday, as investigators pored over video footage and witness statements.
Turkish officials said that 23 of the dead were Turkish, and 13 were foreign, including five Saudis and two Iraqis. Citizens from China, Jordan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Ukraine were also among the 13 foreigners killed.
The Istanbul governor’s office said 109 of the 239 people hospitalised had since been discharged.
“This attack, targeting innocent people, is a vile, planned terrorist act,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters at the scene in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“The findings of our security forces point at the Daesh organisation as the perpetrators of this terror attack,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack and Yildirim said efforts to identify the attackers, who arrived at the airport in two taxis, were continuing.
The attackers opened fire at airport guards at the terminal entrance, and a shootout erupted before they blew themselves up one by one at around 10pm (19:00 GMT), authorities said.
Security camera footage shared on social media appeared to capture two of the blasts. In one clip, a huge ball of flame erupts at an entrance to the terminal building, scattering terrified passengers.
Another video shows a black-clad attacker running inside the building before collapsing to the ground – apparently felled by a police bullet – and blowing himself up.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a “joint fight” against terror after the attack.
“If states, as all humanity, fail to join forces and wage a joint fight against terrorist organisations, all the possibilities that we dread in our minds will come true one by one,” he said in a statement.
“It is clear that this attack is not aimed at achieving any result but only to create propaganda material against our country using simply the blood and pain of innocent people.”
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