41 dead and more than 230 hurt in Istanbul Ataturk airport attacks

Attacks on Istanbul’s Ataturk airport has killed 41 people, at least 13 of them foreigners, and injured more than 230, officials say.

A triple suicide bombing at Istanbul’s main international airport on Tuesday night has left 41 dead and as many as 150 injured in a suspected ISIS attack.

The bombers detonated explosive vests in the arrivals hall of Ataturk airport, which is the third busiest in Europe.

The governor’s office reports that the death toll has risen to 41, with 239 wounded. Among the victims were 23 Turkish citizens and 13 foreign nationals.  More than 100 injured people have been discharged from hospital.

A Turkish official reports that the foreigners killed in the Istanbul attacks include:

• One Chinese national
• One Jordanian
• One Tunisian
• One Uzbek
• One Iranian
• One Ukrainian
• Five Saudis
• Two Iraqis

In a statement, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack aimed to undermine Turkey, and called for a joint international anti-terror “fight.”

“If states, as all humanity, fail to join forces and wage a joint fight against terrorist organisations, all the possibilities that we dread in our minds will come true one by one,” Erdogan said.

Witnesses described a scene of chaos. Two South African tourists, Paul and Susie Roos from Cape Town, were at the airport to fly home and were shaken by what they witnessed.

‘He was just firing at anyone coming in front of him. He was wearing all black. His face was not masked. I was 50 metres away from him, we ducked behind a counter but I stood up and watched him. Two explosions went off shortly after one another. By that time he had stopped shooting,’ Roos said.

A taxi driver, named as Fatih told, ‘There were the sounds of gunfire, it was like thunder, then there was a fireball everywhere, my front window blew out, the car in front of me was turned into scrap.’

At least 41 dead, 200 injured in Istanbul airport blasts
At least 41 dead, 200 injured in Istanbul airport blasts

Tourism in Turkey plummets

Turkey has seen the number of foreign visitors to the country fall every month of 2016, compared to last year, with visitors in May down 34.7 per cent, the largest decrease in 22 years. The ministry of culture and tourism has not registered a growth in visitor numbers since July last year.

Istanbul, the most popular destination for tourists, welcomes the largest number of foreigners (35 per cent of May’s traffic), with Antalya, in the south and serving a number of the Mediterranean coastal resorts, next with 25 per cent.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International