Interior Minister: 1 suicide bomber identified, 19 foreign nationals among victims

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 30.06.2016 14:43
Updated 30.06.2016 16:31
Archive photo: Interior Minister Efkan Ala
Archive photo: Interior Minister Efkan Ala

One of the three suicide bombers in the Istanbul Atatürk Airport attack on Tuesday was identified and the death toll has risen to 43 with 19 of the victims identified as foreign nationals, Interior Minister Efkan Ala told Parliament on Thursday. But shortly after Ala's statement, the death toll was reported to have increased to 44.

Briefing Parliament on the Tuesday attack, Ala said that the initial findings by police pointed to the DAESH terror organization as being responsible for the attack, along with the identity and nationality of one of the suicide bombers.

Police detained 13 people in raids on 16 addresses in Istanbul and the coastal city of Izmir in connection with Tuesday's attack on Europe's third-busiest airport, the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey this year.

Ala said that indicators point to DAESH as the perpetrator, emphasizing that authorities have not yet reached a definite conclusion.

A Turkish official reportedly said earlier on Thursday that the three suicide bombers who carried out the attack were of Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationalities, although Minister Ala did not comment on this.

Ala added that the victims of the attack included 19 foreign nationals. Of the wounded, 94 remained in hospital, according to the Istanbul Governor's office.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack which was carried out using firearms and explosives but officials are pointing the finger at DAESH, which carried out a similar attack in Brussels in March, and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks over the past year in Turkey which have left nearly 200 Turkish citizens dead.

Officials speaking on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media said the three militants took a taxi from the Aksaray district to the airport.

The Turkish Prime Ministry on Wednesday announced a one-day national mourning in the aftermath of the attack.

Turkey hoisted its flags at half-mast across the country and in Turkish foreign representatives around the world, the prime ministry said in the statement.

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