Exclusive Photos: Turkey’s Ataturk Airport Hit by Explosions, 31 Dead
UPDATE: 31 dead, 147 injured (13 critical), death toll expected to rise: Turkish officials.
UPDATE: Senior Turkish official says nearly 50 people killed in attack at Istanbul’s airport.
At least two explosions have rocked Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on Tuesday night, according to reports.
Twenty eight people have died, according to Turkey’s minister of justice, Bekir Bozdag.
Dozens were injured in the explosions, officials told the Zaman newspaper. The exact number is not immediately clear, but Turkish broadcaster Haberturk said as many as 60 were injured.
Two blasts hit in the airport’s International Arrivals Terminal, according to Zaman.
Local media outlets said the explosions have persisted, with one hitting a car parking lot.
A large number of people were being transported via ambulance.
Four armed men were reportedly seen running away from the terminal building following the explosions, reported Turkey’s NTV channel.
The Ministry of Justice confirmed that one of the suspects started shooting before detonating a bomb attached to his body.
Turkish MP Eren Erdem tweeted that the explosions were suicide bomb attacks. He also confirmed many people were injured.
Witnesses said that they heard gunfire, NTV reported.
Ataturk Airport was closed down due to the blasts.
In December, an explosion on the tarmac of the Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul killed one person.
Over the past several months, Turkey has been rocked by terrorist attacks and they have been linked to terrorist groups, including ISIS, and Kurdish rebel groups.
On June 27, the U.S. Department of State warned American citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey.