DAESH perpetrated attack, senior police officials say

HILAL KAPLAN @hilal_kaplan
ISTANBUL
Published 29.06.2016 20:15

Senior police officials said that the perpetrators of the gun attack and suicide bombings at Atatürk International Airport late Tuesday were from DAESH, citing similarities between Tuesday's attack and the ones at Brussels's Zaventem airport.

According to officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking with the media, three militants came from the Aksaray district to the airport by taxi in the evening hours. Then one of the militants who got out of the car caught the eye of an undercover police officer due to his wearing a coat despite the hot weather. The officer then chased him into the parking area of the airport.

As soon as the officer attempted to ask for identification, the militant started to escape and failed to enter the international departures area and opened fire at him. Later, the militant blew himself up in the area where taxis were waiting outside the international departures building.

Meanwhile, two other militants drew their guns, including two AK-47 rifles, two pistols and grenades, and entered the building, opening fire indiscriminately. One of them was shot by police and blew himself up while people tried to escape.

The other attacker ran to the lower story of the building where more people were and blew himself up among the crowd, causing the most serious amount of damage in the attack.

Officials also stressed that the police intervention before they arrived in the areas where more passengers were present, prevented a bigger disaster in which hundreds of people might have fallen victim.

They also indicated that there is no a security gap at checkpoints and that is the reason why the terrorists had to begin the attack before they came to that point.

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