At least 32 people have died in an attack on the Ataturk Airport, the largest in Istanbul, and about 88 have been injured, reported the governor of the city, Vasip Sahin.
The Governor assured the press that the number of deaths may increase in the next few hours and that the attack was perpetrated by 3 suicide bombers.
According to the information on the public television network TRT, 3 kamikazes perpetrated the attack at 9:30 pm (7:30 pm GMT) at the entrance to the exit terminal of the airport.
TRT said there were 3 detonations.
Several witnesses explained that one of the explosions and the first shooting happened just at the entrance to the international departures terminal, the first checkpoint for travelers.
Fifty ambulances rushed to the scene and according to the Turkish media, taxi drivers also helped transport the injured to hospitals.
There is still no official information on the nationality of the victims, although according to TRT, they are most likely Turkish.
The Ministry of the Interior organized a crisis center to monitor the situation, all flights have been cancelled, and the airport will be closed until 8:00 am (6:00 am GMT) Wednesday.
The authorities have imposed an embargo on images related to the attack.
The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, and the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, continue to monitor the situation.
“We were in passport control. We heard shooting. There were four people that began to shoot. Then there was a detonation,” a woman told CNNTurk who was at the scene of the attack.
Another witness said: “I heard the first shots and then an explosion. Then there were more shots and people running everywhere.”
Adbulkadir Selvi, a journalist known for his good sources in the government, said that some travelers gave notice to the police about a suspicious person dressed in a coat.
Police began to follow that person, who joined the two other suspects, until they realized the presence of the police and started shooting with automatic weapons, according to the account.
One of the suicide bombers detonated at the entrance to one of the terminals where there was a security check and where most of the victims were located.
Another one of the terrorists ran to the inside of the terminal and was killed by agents, while the other suicide bomber detonated. According to the journalist of Hurriyet, a fourth terrorist had been captured, but there is no official confirmation of this.
The Ataturk Airport is the largest in Turkey and one of the busiest in the world: last year, 61 million passengers used the facility.
Turkey is in a state of alert for terrorist threats. Istanbul has already been the scene of two suicide attacks this year in tourist places attributed to the jihadist group Daesh (Islamic State) that caused 15 deaths.
In Ankara, two car-bomb attacks claimed by the group “Hawks for the Freedom of Kurdistan” (TAK, in its Turkish initials), close to the Illegal Workers Part of Kurdistan (PKK), left more than 60 dead.
The TAK was responsible for the last large attack in Istanbul, on June 6, which was committed against a police bus and caused 11 deaths.
All the media sites are claiming today that both Daesh and the PKK could be behind this attack.