Istanbul airport explosions: 28 dead, 60 injured

Istanbul airport explosions: 28 dead, 60 injured

At least 28 people have been killed and 60 others wounded in the attack on Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey. Several attackers blew themselves up at Turkey’s largest airport after a confrontation with police on Tuesday night, according to Turkish authorities and television reports.

Earlier, the justice minister, Bekir Bozdag, said that one of the attackers had fired an automatic weapon before detonating explosives, The New York Times reports.

According to the TV channel CNN Turk, a Turkish government official said that the police fired shots at two suspected attackers at the entryway to the airport’s international terminal, in an effort to stop them before they reached the building’s security checkpoint. The two suspects then blew themselves up, the official said. 

CNN Turk also reported that one suicide bomber detonated explosives inside the terminal building and another outside in a parking lot.

A witness told CNN Turk that injured people were being taken away in taxis, Reuters reported.
Eyewitnesses of the incident posted a video of what is happening at the airport. Flights are still landing at the airport, though they will be diverted beginning in half an hours time. All flights out of the airport have now been suspended.

According to an associate professor of the Faculty of International Relations of the TOBB University of Economics and Technology (Ankara), Togrul Ismail, the terrorist attack was carried out by the banned in Russia terrorist group Daesh. "This is a very serious terrorist attack, as it was carried out in the Istanbul airport. Also, it is possible that Daesh reacted to Ankara's work in order to restore relations with Moscow and Tel Aviv, and it is trying to deal a blow in this direction," he noted.

In this regard, the expert called for strengthening of the fight against terrorism in the country. "The struggle continues, as there were attempts of terrorist acts in other regions, especially in the southeast. Turkey needs to step up the fight against terrorism and to impose more stringent conditions," Togrul Ismail stressed.

Political analyst Talat Cetin agreed that the attack is an evidence of activation of opponents of establishing relations between Turkey and Russia. "This attack is a challenge for the leaders of Russia and Turkey, relations between the two countries and Turkey's attempts to stabilize the situation in the Middle East. Certainly, there are external forces behind this tragedy," he believes.

According to the expert, this should become an additional incentive to enhance the Russian-Turkish relations in the security sphere. "Russia should give an answer to this terrorist attack together with Turkey. In fact, today a bomb was laid and detonated not only under the airport, but also under the Russian-Turkish relations," Talat Cetin said.
Political scientist Timucin Merdanoglu noticed that terrorists' handwriting clearly indicates Daesh. "The time of the attack is the most important indicator - before the settlement of Turkey's relations with both Russia and Israel. The attack is very similar to those in the Belgian airport: there were also 3 explosions," he noted.
"I think that the airport security failed. Tens of thousands of vehicles enter the Istanbul airport on a daily basis. The security scans only suspicious cars. This means that the terrorists were able to freely enter the territory of the airport, " Merdanoglu added, expressing concern that the terrorist attack will negatively affect the tourism sector in Turkey.