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28 dead in Istanbul airport suicide attack — city governor

By Agencies - Jun 29,2016 - Last updated at Jun 29,2016

Paramedics help casualties outside Turkey's largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast, on Tuesday (Reuters photo)

Suicide bomb attackers targeting Istanbul's main international airport on Tuesday killed 28 people, the provincial governor was quoted as saying by NTV news channel, raising the initial death toll from 10, Reuters reported.

The governor also said that authorities believe three suicide bombers attacked Ataturk Airport, Europe's third-busiest, because there were three separate explosions, according to NTV.

"Three suicide bombers carried out an attack. Twenty-eight people have lost their lives. There are also 60 people injured," Vasip Sahin told journalists, according to Agence France-Presse.

Ataturk is Turkey's largest airport and a major transport hub for international travellers. Pictures posted on social media from the site showed wounded people lying on the ground inside and outside one of the terminal buildings.

A witness told Reuters security officials prevented his taxi and other cars from entering the airport at around 9:50pm (1850 GMT). Drivers leaving the terminal shouted "Don't enter! A bomb exploded!" from their windows to incoming traffic, he said.

Television footage showed ambulances rushing to the scene. One witness told CNN Turk that gunfire was heard from the car park at the airport. Taxis were ferrying wounded people from the airport, the witness said.

The head of Red Crescent, Kerem Kinik, said on CNN Turk that people should go to blood donation centres and not hospitals to give blood and called on people to avoid main roads to the airport to avoid blocking path of emergency vehicles.

Authorities halted the takeoff of scheduled flights from the airport and passengers were transferred to hotels, a Turkish Airlines official said. Earlier an airport official said some flights to the airport had been diverted.

Turkey has suffered a spate of bombings this year, including two suicide attacks in tourist areas of Istanbul blamed on the Daesh terror group, and two car bombings in the capital, Ankara, which were claimed by a Kurdish militant group.

In the most recent attack, a car bomb ripped through a police bus in central Istanbul during the morning rush hour, killing 11 people and wounding 36 near the main tourist district, a major university and the mayor's office.

 

Turkey, which is part of the US-led coalition against Daesh, is also fighting Kurdish militants in its largely Kurdish southeast. 

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