Two explosions followed by gunfire were reported at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, killing at least 36 people and wounding 147.
According to CNN, the attack happened Tuesday evening (June 28) at Turkey’s largest airport. Turkish government officials said police fired shots at two suspected suicide bombers to stop them from entering Ataturk’s security checkpoint area. The suspects reportedly killed themselves by detonating their explosives. One blast was reported outside of the terminal in the parking lot and the other, near the security gate entrance of the airport. Over 30 ambulances were seen at the airport and victims were taken away in taxis to local hospitals.
Turkey has been affected by bombings since 2014, The New York Times reports. Officials believe the Kurdish separatists or members of the Islamic State have been behind previous attacks. Kurdish separatists blew up a police van in June, killing 11 people. In January, ten people were killed and 15 others wounded when a Syrian Islamic State operative blew himself up. The bombing happened in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district, the city’s main tourist attraction.
While no suspects have been named in the attack at the Ataturk airport, signs are being pointed towards the Islamic State. On Monday (June 27) ISIS channels released execution videos to celebrate their two-year anniversary, or “Two Years Since the Caliphate,” in Iran and Syria.
Victims of the airport attack have taken to social media to document the panic in the area.
Estambul. Dos terroristas suicidas detonaron explosivos en el aeropuerto internacional https://t.co/X75AoNqo6r pic.twitter.com/6Gs6YFGGQl
— Infobae América (@infobaeamerica) June 28, 2016
Over the years, Ataturk airport has grown to become the hub of diplomats, tourists and thousands of travelers every day. It is now the third largest airport in Europe, after Heathrow in London and Charles de Gaulle in Paris.