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Scores killed in Istanbul airport suicide attacks

Scores of people have been killed and injured in the explosions [AFP]

Date of publication: 28 June, 2016

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Turkey's busiest airport was hit by three suicide bombers on Tuesday night, killing at least 41 people and injuring hundreds of others, Turkish authorities confirmed.

At least 41 people were killed in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport Tuesday night, in the latest terrorist incident to rock Turkey's biggest city.

The attackers began spraying bullets at airport guards at the terminal entrance and a shootout erupted before they blew themselves up one by one at around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) Tuesday, Turkish authorities said.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim who visited the airport after the attack said that more than 36 people had been killed while over 150 people were injured, some in critical condition.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for an international "joint fight" against terror after the attack, the fourth deadly bombing in Istanbul this year alone.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which prompted the suspension of all flights at Turkey's busiest airport, however security forces believe it was carried out by the Islamic State group according to the prime minister.

Security camera footage widely circulated on social media appeared to capture two of the blasts. In one clip a huge ball of flame erupts at an entrance to the terminal building, scattering terrified passengers.

Another video shows a black-clad attacker running inside the building before collapsing to the ground – apparently felled by a police bullet – and blowing himself up.

Witnesses described scenes of panic as the blasts hit, while images on social media showed passengers lying on the floor and luggage trolleys overturned.

Istanbul, a major tourism hub that is home to some 15 million people, has suffered a series of attacks in recent months.

Located just outside Turkey's biggest city, Ataturk airport served more than 60 million passengers in 2015, making it one of the busiest in the world.

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