Istanbul’s airport reopens after terror attack; death toll climbs to 41

ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 29 (UPI) — Istanbul Ataturk Airport reopened Wednesday, the day after after at a terrorist attack left at least 41 dead and dozens injured.

“Our airport has been reopened to flights as of 2:20 a.m. and air traffic has returned to normal. We have injured people. Many of our wounded have been lightly injured. Some foreign nationals were also injured,” said Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

The airport, among region’s busiest and most heavily secured, was the site of a bloody and coordinated attack Tuesday afternoon. Three suicide bombers arrived at the airport in a taxi, Yildirim said, opened fire in a crowded international terminal and then detonated bombs. At least 41 people died, as did the assailants. Taxis were used to take the injured to hospitals.

Witnesses said an explosion occurred at the airport’s arrival Gate A, with a second explosion at Gate B.

The incident occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and as Turkey announced new foreign policy rapprochements with Russia and Israel. Although the Turkish government contends with several militant opposition groups within its borders, there are strong indications the Islamic State is responsible for the attack, Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu News Agency reported.

The attack came two weeks after a police vehicle was targeted in a bomb explosion on Istanbul’s central Beyazit district. Seven police officers and four civilians were killed and 36 people wounded.

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