Update: 36 dead in Istanbul terror attack

Update: 36 dead in Istanbul terror attack

Istanbul, June 29, 2016/ Independent Balkan News agency

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At least 36 people were killed and 147 others injured in a terror attack on the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey’s justice minister said Wednesday.

Bekir Bozdag said an attacker opened fire using an AK-47 assault rifle at the international terminal before detonating a suicide bomb.

Preliminary findings pointed to a terrorist group being responsible — information he said needed further confirmation.

Gov. Vasip Sahin said law enforcement was evaluating the possible involvement of three suicide bombers blowing themselves up at the entrance to the international terminal at the airport after police fired at them.

“Entry and exit of passengers will be returned to normal rapidly and scheduled flights will be started as soon as possible,” the governor said.

Separately, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the terror attack with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Hulusi Akar, Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, at the Presidential Palace, according to presidential sources.

Police and medical teams are at the scene and access to and from the airport has been blocked.

Yildirim was briefed by Interior Minister Efkan Ala and Sahin and has ordered the formation of a crisis desk.

Huseyin Tombul, who witnessed that attack, said the explosion occurred while he was waiting at the airport’s arrivals Gate A.

He said after the explosion they were sheltered at the garage. “A second explosion happened at Gate B. Four of my friends lost their lives. There are lots of wounded,” he added.

Meanwhile, Yildirim arrived at the airport to brief the media on the latest developments.