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Turkey President: Attack aimed at 'undermining Turkey'

President Tayyip Erdogan Credit: Reuters

The attack on Istanbul's main international airport was aimed at undermining Turkey through the killing of innocent people, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

"It is clear that this attack is not aimed at achieving any result but only to create propaganda material against our country using simply the blood and pain of innocent people," he said in a statement.

Erdogan also said he expected the world to show a "decisive stance" against terrorist groups in the wake of the attack.


Witness: 'Gunman randomly opened fire' before explosion

One of the attackers at Istanbul airport "randomly opened fire" in the terminal building before explosions went off, a witness has told Reuters.

Around 50 are believed to be dead in the attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

The witness said two explosions were heard followed by more shooting and a third explosion.

"We came right to international departures and saw the man randomly shooting. He was just firing at anyone coming in front of him. He was wearing all black. His face was not masked. I was 50 metres away from him," said Paul Roos, 77, a South African tourist on his way back to Cape Town with his wife.

"We ducked behind a counter but I stood up and watched him. Two explosions went off shortly after one another. By that time he had stopped shooting," Roos told Reuters.

"He turned around and started coming towards us. He was holding his gun inside his jacket. He looked around anxiously to see if anyone was going to stop him and then went down the escalator ... We heard some more gunfire and then another explosion, and then it was over."

'Nearly 50 dead' in Istanbul airport attack

Around 50 people are dead after the attack on Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, senior officials have told AP.

They also said initial indications suggest Islamic State group is behind airport attack.

The "vast majority" of victims were Turkish nationals but foreigners were also among the casualties, an official added.

At least 60 people were injured in the attack.

Brussels Airport tweets after Istanbul attack

Brussels Airport - which was attacked in March - has said its staffs' thoughts are with the victims of the Ataturk Airport bomb blast.


British Airways Istanbul-bound flight turned back

A British Airways flight that was due to land in Ataturk was turned back and returned to London after the blasts.

It was scheduled to land at 11.40pm local time (9.40 BST), just after the explosions occurred.

A BA spokesman said: "We had one flight to Ataturk airport that has turned around and is coming back to London Gatwick.

"We don't have any other services scheduled today and we will keep the situation under review."

Witness says he saw officer wrestle suicide bomber

A witness has told NBC news that he saw a police officer tackle one of the suicide bombers shortly before he detonated the bomb.

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