Three heavily armed terrorists opened fire in the international arrivals lounge at Istanbul Ataturk airport, leaving 41 dead and over 150 injured. Surveillance videos confirm they had suicide vests on; one blast brought down part of the ceiling under which taxis were waiting.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim released a statement following the attack, saying all clues point to the Islamic State, which is right now its primary suspect. However, no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. There have been three terrorist attacks in the country this year.
Footage from inside the terminal shows people running away, some stagger and some fall as the ground it covered with blood. There is a bright orange flash of fire from one of the explosions.
A second video has emerged on social media in which a man is walking towards victims with a gun, but he suddenly slumps to the ground and his gun is flung across the floor. It is apparent that he is shot by a security officer, who briefly stands over him before running away, in an obvious attempt to escape an explosion. About 10 seconds later, there is a blast.
More details are awaited. Officials expect the death toll to rise. Airport operations have resumed; flights from Istanbul to other parts of the world are taking off. Delays are expected though.
Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter to confirm no Indian casualties have been reported.
You may also contact First Secretary, Embassy of India, Ankara at 05303142203 @CGI_Istanbul
— India in Turkey (@IndianEmbassyTR) June 28, 2016
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the perpetrators to be identified and brought to justice. UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Ban Ki-Moon “stands firmly by Turkey as it confronts this threat and stresses the need to intensify regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack.
Attack in Istanbul is inhuman & horrific. I condemn it strongly. My thoughts are with bereaved families. May the injured recover quickly.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 29, 2016
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi too tweeted after the attack.
My prayers are with the families of the victims & the ppl of #Istanbul
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) June 29, 2016
Pakistan has condemned the attack as well. “It is with deep anguish and pain that we have learnt about the terrorist attack at Ataturk airport in Istanbul. We condemn this mindless act of terrorism in the strongest possible terms,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said.