28 January 2020

Turkey: Ten killed in explosions at Ataturk Airport

KONFRONTASI-Ten people have been killed and at least 60 others injured following explosions at Istanbul's main international airport, the Turkish justice minister said. 

Authorities said there were at least four people involved in the attack at Ataturk Airport late on Tuesday evening.

The attackers reportedly tried to penetrate the "control point" coming into the airport. Security personnel then opened fire to "neutralise" the attackers, who then detonated their explosives, authorities said.    

One suicide attacker reportedly detonated himself at the airport parking lot, Al Jazeera's Ayse Karabat, reporting from Istanbul, said.

Images from local television showed several people running away from the airport. Several people were also shown being transported by stretchers and wheelchairs. 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. But one security analyst told Al Jazeera that the attack bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), which carried out a "similar attack" at the Brussels airport in March.    

Ataturk Airport is one of the busiest in the world serving more than 60 million passengers in 2015.

All outbound flights have been cancelled, while most of the inbound flights have been diverted. Planes already approaching the airport were allowed to land. 

There has been a string of bombings around Turkey over the past year, some of them blamed on ISIL, others claimed by Kurdish fighters.[mr/aje]

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