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Istanbul airport attack: 36 killed; Turkish PM blames IS

Istanbul: Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Wednesday blamed the Islamic State (IS) for the bombing attacks that killed 36 people and injured 60 others at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on Tuesday night, the media reported.


Children and their relatives embrace as they leave Ataturk airport on June 28, 2016 in Istanbul after two explosions followed by gunfire hit Turkey's biggest airport, killing at least 28 people and injuring 20. Pic/ AFP

Addressing the press at the airport, the premier said the attacks were carried out by three suicide bombers and all blew themselves up, Xinhua news agency reported.


Forensic police work the explosion site at Ataturk airport on June 28, 2016 in Istanbul after two explosions followed by gunfire hit Turkey's biggest airport. Pic/ AFP

US officials said the attack bears the hallmarks of IS because of the target and method, CNN reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups, BBC reported.


Passengers wait with their luggage outside the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, in June 28, 2016, after two explosions followed by gunfire hit the Turkey's biggest airport. Pic/AFP

"The bombs that exploded in Istanbul could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world," Erdogan said.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said earlier in Ankara that one terrorist opened fire with a Kalashnikov rifle and then blew himself up.

Binali Yildirim. Pic/ AFP
Binali Yildirim. Pic/ AFP

A Turkish official was quoted as saying on Twitter that the vast majority of casualties are Turkish citizens, with foreigners among the dead and wounded.

The police have closed the entrances and exits of the airport, and some inbound flights to the airport have been diverted in the aftermath of the attacks, press reports said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has ordered the formation of a crisis desk.

Kerem Kinik, the head of Turkish Red Crescent, has appealed for blood donation.

The security situation in Turkey has deteriorated over the past year, with Istanbul, the national capital of Ankara and other cities having already been hit by a number of bombing attacks.

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