[VIDEO]Nearly 50 killed in series of suicide bombings at Istanbul airport

Nearly 50 killed in series of suicide bombings at Istanbul airport

More than 80 people wounded, some critically; Turkish officials say Islamic State believed responsible for assault carried out by at least 3 attackers; No Israelis among casualties

Nearly 50 people were killed in a series of suicide blasts at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport late Tuesday, with more than 80 injured, some of them critically.

The majority of the fatalities in the attack were Turkish nationals but some foreigners were also among the dead, according to authorities

Initial indications suggested the Islamic State terror group was behind airport attack, according to a senior Turkish official. No claim of responsibility has yet to be issued.

Turkish officials say there were at least three attackers, some armed with AK-47s. There were conflicting reports on whether there were two or three explosions.

Turkish airports have security checks at both at the entrance of terminal buildings and then later before entry to departure gates.

Surveillance footage has surfaced showing one blast from inside the international terminal.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag earlier said that according to preliminary information, “a terrorist at the international terminal entrance first opened fire with a Kalashnikov and then blew himself up.”

Another official said attackers detonated explosives at the entrance of the international terminal after police fired at them.

Israeli diplomats who rushed to the hospital to which the victims were taken reported that no Israeli tourists were known to have been hurt in the attack. Earlier, in the immediate aftermath of the explosions, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said all its diplomats who were at the airport at the time of the blast were accounted for and unharmed.

Ministry officials are continuing to search for possible Israeli victims affected by the attack.

All air travel in and out of Ataturk, Turkey’s largest airport, was stopped in the aftermath of the attack. There is no immediate word on when air traffic may resume.

More than a dozen ambulances raced to the international terminal moments after the explosions, CNN-Turk reported.

The channel cited witnesses who said they saw panic among passengers. “It was very strong, everyone panicked and started running in all directions,” one witness told CNN-Turk.

Police set up a perimeter around the site, television images showed.

Footage and reports from the scene showed frightened bystanders and damage to airport facilities.

timesofisrael

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