At least 36 people were killed and 147 more people were injured when three suicide bombers detonated explosives at the entrance of Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
Officials previously said that 50 people had died, but have been revised the number while saying they expect the death toll will rise.
Nationalities affected were not yet known, since Saudi Arabia said seven injured were Saudi, according to Associated Press.
It was reported that three suspected ISIS attackers struck a checkpoint outside the terminal entrance around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Witnesses reported that one suspected attacker first sprayed the crowd with AK-47. When a police returned fire he detonated a bomb strapped to his body.
Reports were continuously circulating in social media since the attack occured.
Istanbul governor told that there were three bombers and three explosions in the international departure area, according to CNN. But told it was uncertain if all of the bombers have guns.
Taxi cabs waiting outside the airport helped the victims to send to hospitals after the attack. Police vehicles and ambulances poured into the stricken area.
After the attack, as the death toll steadily climbed, possible victims’ family members stood behind police barriers holding up handwritten signs of their loved ones’ names.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said: “This attack, targeting innocent people is a vile, planned terrorist act.”
“There is initial evidence that each of the three suicide bombers blew themselves up after opening fire,” he told reporters at the airport. Yildirim said the attackers had come to the airport by taxi and that preliminary findings pointed to Islamic State responsibility, as Reuters reported.
Ataturk is the third-busiest airport in Europe behind London and Paris as the city is a major international travel destination. Nearly 42 million passengers and 313,000 flights went through Ataturk in 2015, according to the Turkish State Airports Authority.
It was in Brussels Belgium on March 22 was the last major attack on European airport where two suicide bombers killed 32 people and more than 300 were injured.
Controlling movements across Turkish borders has been a concern in the fight against international terrorism particularly the Islamic state where ISIS recruits routinely travel through Turkey to Syria to join the extremist group.
Shortly after the Istanbul airport bombing, U.S. State Department issued a travel warning to Americans. It was reported that the country already been hit with two attacks this month.