At least 43 people have been killed and over 230 injured after three suicide bombers struck Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport around 9:50 p.m. local time Tuesday evening.
BREAKING — Istanbul Governor Şahin: The assesments show that 3 suicide bombers carried out the attacks in 3 different spots at the airport
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According to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, one of the bombers blew himself up outside the airport, while the other two used the initial explosion’s chaos to get inside.
BREAKING: Prime minister says one suicide bomber blew himself up outside Istanbul airport; 2 others took advantage of panic to get inside.
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 29, 2016
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No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yildirim said Islamic State militants appear to be responsible. He said the attackers arrived at the airport in a taxi and they were able to launch the attack without going through security checks.
“This has shown once again that terrorism is a global threat. This is a heinous planned attack that targeted innocent people,” Yildirim told reports at the airport.
“Even though the indications suggest Daesh, our investigations are continuing.
“What is noteworthy is that this attack came at a time when our country is putting up a merciless fight against separatist terrorism and recording significant success.
“The findings of our security forces point at the Daesh organization as the perpetrators of this terror attack,” Yildirim added.
Thirteen suspects — nine Turkish citizens, and four foreign nationals — have been detained by police, according to Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala.
LIVE – Interior Minister Ala: Among 13 suspects detained regarding Istanbul Airport attack, 9 are Turkish citizens, 4 are foreign nationals
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Five Saudis, two Iraqis, one Iranian, one Jordanian, one Tunisian, one Ukrainian, one Chinese and one Uzbekistan citizen were confirmed to be among the dead on Wednesday morning.
Paul Roos, who was due to fly home to South Africa told Reuters he saw one of the attackers: “He was wearing all black. His face was not masked. We ducked behind a counter but I stood up and watched him. Two explosions went off shortly after one another. By that time he had stopped shooting.
“He turned around and started coming towards us. He was holding his gun inside his jacket. He looked around anxiously to see if anyone was going to stop him and then went down the escalator. We heard some more gunfire and then another explosion, and then it was over.”
Ali Tekin, who was at the arrivals hall waiting for a guest, described the roof coming down after an “extremely loud” explosion.
“Inside the airport it is terrible, you can’t recognize it, the damage is big,” Tekin told local reporters.
Ataturk airport was closed until around 5 a.m. local time when authorities partially reopened it. Some flights have now resumed at the airport, but information boards are showing that about one-third of scheduled flights cancelled and many others delayed.
The blanket ban on all flights to and from the U.S. that was imposed shortly after the attack was lifted Wednesday morning.
The U.K. Foreign Office said it was “urgently seeking further information” about possible British casualties.
AT&T, T-Mobile U.S., and Sprint have waived all fees to customers trying to contact relatives in Turkey until at least June 30.
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