UPDATED: Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The death toll in an attack carried out by three suicide bombers in Istanbul, Turkey has reached 41, the Washington Post reports.
Another 239 people were injured in the blasts and at least 13 foreigners were killed at the Ataturk Airport, the Post writes. No group or organization has claimed responsibility for the devastating attack, though Binali Yildirim, the Turkish Prime Minister, believes the Islamic State is behind the explosions.
Analysts also said the attack bore the hallmarks of an Islamic State operation, including the use of multiple suicide bombers and an attack on a major transportation hub serving international passengers.
Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport handles more than 60 million passengers each year, and is one of the busiest in the world. The attack — the fifth in Istanbul this year — also was another potential blow to Turkey’s vital dollar tourism industry.
The airport resumed flights Wednesday. An investigation into the attackers’ motive continues.
SOURCE: Washington Post
The Governor of Istanbul Vasip Şahin confirmed the number of dead.
The attackers were reportedly engaged in a confrontation with police before the explosions. According to The Times, police shot at two of the suspected attackers at the airport’s entryway, an effort to stop the individuals from breaching the security checkpoint.
“Almost immediately, there was speculation that the attack was politically motivated, and may have been a response by the Islamic State militant group to the recent reconciliation between Turkey and Israel, which announced a wide-ranging deal this week to restore diplomatic relations. The two countries had been estranged for six years, following the 2010 incident in which Israeli commandos stormed a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade; several Turkish activists were killed in the episode,” The Times reported.
“Mustafa Akyol, a prominent Turkish columnist, wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening, ‘The fact that the attack came right after the Turkish-Israeli deal might be not an accident — if ISIS is that fast in response.’
“Others sought to link the attack to Turkey’s role in the conflict in neighboring Syria. ‘Unfortunately, we see the side effects of a disastrous Syria policy that has brought terrorism into the heart of Istanbul and Ankara,”’ said Suat Kiniklioglu, a former lawmaker in Istanbul. ‘This is obviously intended to create an atmosphere of chaos and hit the economy and tourism.’”
ISIS has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
Flights between the U.S. and Istanbul have been temporarily suspended, the FAA tells BuzzFeed.
This is a developing story.