BELGRADE – At least 28 people have been killed and 60 more injured in two blasts that rocked Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, according to Turkish officials. The explosions were reportedly suicide bomb attacks.
The blasts occurred in the airport’s International Arrivals Terminal.
A Turkish official confirmed to Reuters that two explosions have hit the airport. According to some Turkish media, the blasts were terrorist attacks targeting two separate locations in the airport.
Twenty-eight people have lost their lives in the blasts that hit the airport, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said, Turkey’s NTV channel reported.
More than 60 people have been injured, six of them seriously, in explosions at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, according to the Turkish state Anadolu news agency.
Many people caught in the blasts and near the airport posted photos and videos from the scene, showing the destruction caused by the explosions as well as people hiding in various places in search of safety.
Gunfire was heard from the car park near the airport, CNN Turk reports, citing the witnesses. Four armed men were reportedly seen running away from the terminal building after the explosions, according to Turkey’s NTV channel.
Turkish MP Eren Erdem said in his Twitter feed that the blasts were suicide bomb attacks, adding that a large number of people were injured.
Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in the airport by detonating explosives just before the security checkpoint at the international terminal, Reuters reports, citing a Turkish official.
One of the attackers opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle at the airport, NTV reports, citing Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag. According to eyewitnesses, the suicide bombers also opened fire with guns before blowing themselves up, Reuters reported.
Police opened fire to against some suspects at the international terminal entry point of the airport, an official told Reuters.
Flight departures have been halted from Istanbul airport following the explosions, with passengers being taken to hotels, an official from Turkish Airways said, adding that planes will be allowed to land at the airport until 2110 GMT, Reuters reports.
Ataturk Airport is Turkey’s biggest, and the third busiest in Europe after London’s Heathrow and Paris’s Charles de Gaulle. Its total passenger traffic was 61 million people in 2015.