Istanbul Ataturk airport attack: At least 28 dead and dozens injured

A gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport has killed at least 28 people and injured up to 60.

The Istanbul governor gave the new toll after reports of 10 fatalities.

Up to three attackers were involved, with one reportedly opening fire with a Kalashnikov as they targeted an entry point to the terminal.

Recent bombings in Turkey have been linked to either Kurdish separatists or the so-called Islamic State group.

Tuesday’s airport attack looks like a major, co-ordinated assault, says the BBC’s Mark Lowen at the scene.

Ataturk airport was long seen as a vulnerable target, our correspondent says. There are X-ray scanners at the entry to the terminal but security checks for cars are limited.

‘Armed with a Kalashnikov’

Flights in and out of the airport were suspended after the attack.

Taxis were used to rush casualties to hospital in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The state-run Anadolu agency said around 60 people had been wounded, six of them seriously.

In December, a blast on the tarmac at a different Istanbul airport, Sabiha Gokcen, killed a cleaner. That attack was claimed by a Kurdish group, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK).

Security concerns and a Russian boycott have hit the country’s tourist sector this year.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologised for the downing of a Russian military jet on the Turkey-Syria border last year, the act which sparked the boycott.

Last year, Ataturk overtook Frankfurt airport to enter the top three busiest airports in Europe after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

More than 61 million passengers travelled used the airport in 2015.

A US State Department travel warning for Turkey, originally published in March and updated on Monday, urges US citizens to “exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.”

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