36 killed in Istanbul airport bombings

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Forensic police at the explosion site at Ataturk airport on June 28, 2016 in Istanbul after two explosions followed by gunfire hit Turkey’s biggest airport, killing at least 36 people and injuring several others.

A triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport has killed at least 36 people, including foreigners, with Turkey’s prime minister saying early signs pointed to an assault by the Islamic State group.The attackers began spraying bullets at the international terminal entrance before blowing themselves up at around 10:00 pm (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 jihadists.He said the dead included foreigners, but gave no further details. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag put the number of wounded at 147.The attack prompted the suspension of all flights at the airport — one of Europe’s busiest hubs.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.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.

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