The Nationalities Of The Istanbul Ataturk Victims Show The International Effects Of This Attack
The death toll from Tuesday's explosions at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport has risen to at least 31, Turkish officials told the Associated Press. A senior Turkish official also told AP that initial indications suggest that the Islamic State was responsible for the attack. But as this story continues to develop, it is important to humanize the victims of this tragedy by looking at the nationalities of the Istanbul attacks victims and where they were from.
A Turkish official has said that the "vast majority" of the suicide bomb attack victims at the airport were Turkish nationals, according to Reuters. However, the official added that some of the victims were foreigners. The official was not able to provide any more specific information about the nationalities of the dead and wounded, Reuters reported. But an eyewitness at the scene, South African tourist Paul Roos, was able to tell Reuters what happened at the airport when he and his wife were waiting to go back to Cape Town:
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 meters away from him. 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. 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.
Another eyewitness, Steven Nabil, a Iraqi-American freelance journalist who had been traveling on his honeymoon, tweeted what he saw at the airport during the attacks; his wife was injured, and the two of them had to take cover.
Dozens of police, ambulances, and firefighters were dispatched to the airport following the attacks to help the wounded on site. There were also taxis outside the airport to transport the wounded. BBC News has reported that flights in and out of the airport — which is one of the busiest in the world, serving over 61 million passengers in 2015 alone — were suspended following the attacks.