June 30, 2016

TURKEY: A Triple Islamist Suicide Bombing And Gun Attack At Istanbul's Ataturk Airport Late Tuesday Night Murdered 41 People, Including 13 Foreigners, And Wounded 239 People. A List Of Major Bomb Attacks In Turkey

Dawn news, Pakistan
written by AFP, Reuters news agencies
Tuesday June 28, 2016

ISTANBUL - A triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport late Tuesday night killed at least 41 people, including 13 foreigners, and wounded 239 people, the city's governor confirmed as Turkey's prime minister said early signs pointed to an assault by the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

The attackers began spraying bullets at the international terminal entrance before blowing themselves up at around 10:00pm (1900 GMT) Tuesday, Turkish authorities said.

It is the deadliest of four attacks to rock Turkey's biggest city this year, with two others blamed on IS and another claimed by a militant Kurdish group.

Though there was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday's carnage, “the evidence points to Daesh”, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told journalists at the scene, using another name for the militants. He said the dead included foreigners, but gave no further details.

An Iranian and a Ukrainian have been confirmed as the first foreign victims in the attack, a Turkish official said Wednesday.

“I confirm one Iranian and one Ukrainian national have been killed in yesterday's terror attack,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

The attack prompted the suspension of all flights at the airport — one of Europe's busiest hubs. More than 61 million passengers travelled through the airport in 2015.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an international “joint fight” against terror, as Western allies including the United States condemned the “heinous” attack.

Yildirim said the suicide bombers had arrived in a taxi and opened fire on passengers with automatic rifles before blowing themselves up.

Security camera footage widely circulated on social media appeared to capture two of the blasts.

In one clip a huge ball of flame erupts at an entrance to the terminal building, scattering terrified passengers.

Another video shows a black-clad attacker running inside the building before collapsing to the ground apparently felled by a police bullet — and blowing himself up.

Tuesday's attack follows coordinated IS suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a city metro station in March that left 32 people dead.

'The roof came down'
Most of those killed were Turkish nationals but foreigners were also among the dead, a Turkish official said.

Ali Tekin, who was at the arrivals hall waiting for a guest, said the roof came down after an “extremely loud” explosion.

“Inside the airport it is terrible, you can't recognise it, the damage is big,” Tekin said.

A woman named Duygu, who was at passport control after arriving from Germany, said she threw herself to the floor after the explosion.

“Everyone started running away. Everywhere was covered with blood and body parts. I saw bullet holes on the doors,” she said.

Paul Roos, 77, said he saw one of the attackers “randomly shooting” in the departures hall from about 50 metres away.

“He was wearing all black. His face was not masked,” said Roos, a South African on his way home after a holiday in southern Turkey.

"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,” Roos told Reuters.

“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.”

'I can't find my sister'
An AFP photographer saw bodies covered with sheets at the terminal, which bore heavy damage from the blasts.

Bullet holes peppered the windows and shattered glass lay on the floor, while abandoned luggage was scattered everywhere.

Hundreds of police and firefighters including forensic officers were at the scene.

“Somebody came and shot at us and then my sister was running,” Otfah Mohamed Abdullah told AFP. “I don't know which way she was running and after that I was falling down. I was on the ground till he finished... I can't find my sister.”

There was panic at the nearest hospital in Istanbul's Bakirkoy district, which was inundated with relatives desperate for news of loved ones.

Security expert Abdullah Agar told CNN Turk the attack bore the hallmarks of IS. “It really bears a resemblance to their methods,” he said in reference to the Brussels bombings, which were claimed by IS.

The US and French consulates warned people to stay away from the area.

Erdogan call
President Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups.

“The attack, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan, shows that terrorism strikes with no regard for faith and values,” he said in a statement.

The United States said it stood in solidarity with Turkey, its NATO ally, and that such attacks would only reinforce their joint determination. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to intensify global efforts to combat extremism.

Erdogan met with his prime minister and military chief after news of the carnage broke.

“We urge the world, especially Western countries, to take a firm stand against terrorism,” Erdogan said in a statement.

“Despite paying a heavy price, Turkey has the power, determination and capacity to continue the fight against terrorism until the end.”

Istanbul, a major tourism hub that is home to some 15 million people, has suffered a series of attacks in recent months, including a bombing in the heart of the tourist district that killed a dozen German visitors and was blamed on IS.

Two months later, three Israelis and an Iranian were killed in a bombing on the city's main Istiklal shopping street, also blamed on IS.

A blast on the tarmac at Istanbul's other international airport, Sabiha Gokcen, killed a cleaner in December.

Turkey has been hit by at least five attacks blamed on IS militants, including a blast in Ankara in October 2015 that left over 100 dead, though the group has never formally claimed responsibility for an attack in Turkey.

Dawn news, Pakistan
written by AFP staff
Tuesday June 28, 2016

ISTANBUL - Three suicide bombers opened fire then blew themselves up in Istanbul's main international airport on Tuesday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150 in what Turkey's prime minister said appeared to have been an attack by the militant Islamic State (IS).

This is the latest in a string of attacks that have struck Turkey in recent months.

Following is a list of the worst bomb attacks in Turkey since 1986:


June 28: At least 36 people are killed in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

June 7: At least seven police officers and four civilians die when a bomb rips through a police vehicle near the historic centre of Istanbul.

March 19: Three Israelis and an Iranian are killed and dozens injured in a suicide bombing blamed on IS militants targeting an Istanbul shopping thoroughfare, the Istiklal Caddesi.

March 13: At least 34 people are killed and dozens wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in Ankara. The assault is claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a radical offshoot of the better-known Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

February 17: At least 29 are killed in a car bombing targeting the Turkish military in Ankara. The attack is also claimed by TAK.

January 12: Eleven German tourists are killed and another 16 people wounded in a suicide attack by a Syrian bomber in Istanbul's Sultanahmet district, the ancient tourist heart of the city and home of the Blue Mosque.


October 10: In the bloodiest attack in Turkey's history, 103 people are killed and more than 500 wounded in twin suicide bombings targeting a pro-Kurdish peace rally in Ankara. Authorities blame IS.

July 20: 34 people are killed and about 100 wounded in a suicide bombing in the predominantly Kurdish town of Suruc near the border with Syria. Turkish officials blame IS.


May 11: A twin car bomb attack kills 52 people in the town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border. Ankara blames pro-Damascus groups.

February 11: 17 people are killed when a Syrian minibus explodes in Reyhanli.


July 27: Two bombings in Istanbul leave 17 dead and 115 wounded. Ankara blames the PKK.


September 12: 10 people, including children, are killed in a bomb blast in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast.


November 15 and 20: Four suicide car bomb attacks in Istanbul hit two synagogues, the British consulate and a branch of the British multinational bank HSBC, leaving 63 dead, including Britain's consul general, and hundreds wounded. The attacks are claimed by Al Qaeda and a Turkish extremist group named the Islamic Front of Raiders of the Great Orient.


March 13: 12 people are killed in a firebombing on an Istanbul shopping mall. The attack is claimed by the PKK, which later retracts its statement.


December 25: Explosives and firebombs are hurled at an Istanbul department store, killing 17 people and injuring 23. The attack is blamed on the PKK.


September 6: A twin suicide bombing kills 22 people at a synagogue in Istanbul.

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