36 dead, 147 injured in terror attack at Turkey airport

A gun and suicide bomb attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport has killed at least 36 people and injured up to 147.

Up to three attackers were involved, with one reportedly opening fire with a Kalashnikov as they targeted an entry point to the terminal.

Eyewitnesses have told how a hero policeman wrestled a suicide bomber to the ground just seconds before he detonated his explosives at the entrance to the airport’s international arrivals terminal.

It is believed the men were trying to pass through the airport’s security x-ray machines at the entrance to the airport when they were stopped by security officers, and carried out their lethal attack.

Flights in and out of the airport were suspended after the attack.

Taxis were used to rush casualties to hospital in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Recent bombings in Turkey have been linked to either Kurdish separatists or ISIS.

In December, a blast on the tarmac at a different Istanbul airport, Sabiha Gokcen, killed a cleaner. That attack was claimed by a Kurdish group, the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK).

Security concerns and a Russian boycott have hit the country’s tourist sector this year.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologised for the downing of a Russian military jet on the Turkey-Syria border last year, the act which sparked the boycott.

Last year, Ataturk overtook Frankfurt airport to enter the top three busiest airports in Europe after London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

More than 61 million passengers travelled used the airport in 2015.

Turkish Airlines is the official airline partner to the Euro 2016 football tournament, being held in France.

A US State Department travel warning for Turkey, originally published in March and updated on Monday, urges US citizens to “exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.”