29 June 2016
Istanbul’s Ataturk International airport came under a gun and bomb attack late Tuesday resulting in the death of 41 people and injury to over 200 others.
According to Turkey officials, the attackers numbering three arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance of the airport. When police opened fire on them, they blew themselves up.
Although no group or individual has admitted the attack, Turkey P.M. Binali Yildirim said early signs from the attack pointed to the so-called Islamic State.
Recent bombings in the region have been linked to either ISIS or Kurdish separatists.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the attack. He said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.
“The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world,” he said.
“The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values,” he continued.
“If states, as all humanity, fail to join forces and wage a joint fight against terrorist organisations, all the possibilities that we dread in our minds will come true one by one.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the “terrorist attack” and called for the perpetrators to be identified and brought to justice.
According to a witness who claimed to have seen one of the attacker, he described him as wearing all black.
He said: “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.”
According to BBC, flights in and out of the airport were suspended after the attack. They have now resumed, but information boards showed about one-third of flights had been cancelled, with many delays.
Since the attack, #PrayforTurkey has been trending on twitter.