ISTANBUL,Turkey (ABC NEWS)- At least 28 people have been killed and 60 others injured following a terrorist attack at an international airport in Istanbul, Turkey, according to a government official.
The specifics about the attack remain unclear with conflicting reports about the number of alleged attackers and blasts at Ataturk Airport, Turkey’s biggest international airport and one of the world’s busiest airports. An official told Turkish state broadcaster TRT that two attackers opened fire with machine guns and detonated suicide belts outside the international terminal before passing the first security checkpoint.
Later the governor of Istanbul said that there were three suicide attackers.
The attack took place at around 10 p.m. local time which is a busy time for the airport with flights arriving from Europe and leaving for the Persian Gulf and other parts of the region. A senior U.S. official announced shortly after the attack that all scheduled flights to and from Istanbul have been temporarily suspended.
This comes one day after the U.S. State Department updated its travel warning for Turkey, advising that foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations –- including explicitly “aviation services.” In March, the U.S. ordered the departure of family members of U.S. government personnel posted to the U.S. Consulate in Adana and family members of U.S. government civilians in Izmir province through July 26, 2016.
PHOTO: Ambulances arrive at Turkeys largest airport, Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey, following a blast June 28, 2016. Today’s attack comes three months after deadly coordinated bombs were detonated at an international airport in Brussels.
Turkey has been dealing with multiple security threats from the Kurdish separatist group the PKK, as well as ISIS.
Earlier this month, a car bomb attack on a police bus killed seven officers and four civilians in central Istanbul, making it the fourth major attack in Turkey’s largest city this year.