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Forty-one people were killed and hundreds injured when three suicide bombers detonated devices at the Atatürk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday night, The New York Times reports.

The Governor of Istanbul, Vasip Şahin, confirmed the number of dead. As of Wednesday, 109 remained hospitalized.

The attackers were reportedly engaged in a confrontation with police before the explosions. According to The Times, police shot at two of the suspected attackers in the airport’s entryway, an effort to stop the individuals from breaching the security checkpoint.

“Almost immediately, there was speculation that the attack was politically motivated, and may have been a response by the Islamic State militant group to the recent reconciliation between Turkey and Israel, which announced a wide-ranging deal this week to restore diplomatic relations. The two countries had been estranged for six years, following the 2010 incident in which Israeli commandos stormed a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip in defiance of an Israeli blockade; several Turkish activists were killed in the episode,” The Times reported.

“Mustafa Akyol, a prominent Turkish columnist, wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening, ‘The fact that the attack came right after the Turkish-Israeli deal might be not an accident — if ISIS is that fast in response.’

“Others sought to link the attack to Turkey’s role in the conflict in neighboring Syria. ‘Unfortunately, we see the side effects of a disastrous Syria policy that has brought terrorism into the heart of Istanbul and Ankara,”’ said Suat Kiniklioglu, a former lawmaker in Istanbul. ‘This is obviously intended to create an atmosphere of chaos and hit the economy and tourism.’”

Istanbul’s airport is the 11th busiest in the world. Two of the suicide bombers hit the international terminal, while the third was in a nearby parking lot.

ISIS has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Flights between the U.S. and Istanbul were temporarily suspended Tuesday, the FAA tells Buzzfeed. As of Wednesday morning, the airport had resumed normal business.’s Christina Coleman contributed to this report.

SOURCE: NYT, BuzzFeed | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter


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