ISTANBUL — Three suicide attackers killed at least 41 people and wounded dozens more at Istanbul’s main airport on Tuesday night, in the latest in a string of terrorist attacks in Turkey, a NATO ally once seen as a bastion of stability but now increasingly consumed by the chaos of the Middle East.
Hours after the assault, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim of Turkey said that early indications pointed to an operation carried out by the Islamic State, but as of early Wednesday, the group had not claimed responsibility for the attack.
The attack began shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, Turkish officials said, when two gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons at a security checkpoint outside Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, one of Europe’s busiest. They then detonated their explosives, setting off two fireballs. A third attacker set off explosives in the parking lot.
Turkey has faced a string of terrorist attacks over the past year, including several in Istanbul, as it confronts threats from both the Islamic State and Kurdish militants fighting a war with the Turkish state in the southeast.
The Istanbul governor’s office said on Wednesday morning that 41 people had died. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Tuesday that 147 people were wounded.
Turkey is reeling after a suicide attack at Istanbul’s busy Ataturk Airport killed at least 41 people and wounded more than 230.
As the airport partially reopened Wednesday, despite the debris and shattered glass left by the blast, people on social media to expressed their solidarity with the victims with the #PrayForTurkey.