As the dust settles from the horrific terrorist attacks at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, we're getting a clearer picture of the human toll of the tragedy. As of Wednesday morning, authorities report 41 dead and 239 injured as a result of the attack.
The attack occurred after 9 p.m. on Tuesday when three individuals arrived at the airport armed with guns and suicide vests and opened fire near the airport's entrance. While security forces responded to the assault by firing back, they could not stop the terrorists from detonating their vests, killing and injuring many more.
Turkish P.M. Binali Yildrim said in a news conference that that attack is believed to be the work of the terrorist group ISIS. While the death toll was thought to be rather low upon first reaction, it steadily rose as first responders arrived at the scene.
"I would like to say all the civilians who lost their lives, may they rest in peace," Yildrim said. "We share the pain of their relatives and we wish a speedy recovery for the wounded.
Buzzfeed interviewed Alireza, who was present at the time of the attack. "Everywhere they was panic and confusion, we had to rush out of the terminal," he said, adding, "There was blood and injured passengers everywhere. It was very scary. It was terrorism."
Turkey declares a national day of mourning in the wake of Tuesday's terror attack.— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) June 29, 2016
Paul Roos, another person present at the scene, told Reuters there was one gunman "randomly shooting" in the terminal. "He was just firing at anyone coming in front of him," Roos recounted. "He was wearing all black. His face was not masked."
The international community is now responding, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying, "The fact that this is happening on the holy month of Ramadan shows us again that terror does not value anything, including faith, and does not discriminate between its victims." He also called for a "joint" response to terrorism around the world and for "every citizen to act in unity."
Atatürk Havalimanı'nda yaşanan panik anları pic.twitter.com/TTkBVexPsi— Express Gazete (@expressgzt) June 28, 2016
Atatürk hava limani bombali saldiri yapildi pic.twitter.com/qWpnLX7sGk— Oguzcan Aksoy (@Oguz146) June 28, 2016
The White House released a statement and called the attack an attack on "a symbol of international connections." Saying, "We remain steadfast in our support for Turkey, our NATO Ally and partner, along with all of our friends and allies around the world, as we continue to confront the threat of terrorism."
The two presidential candidates also condemned the attacks, with democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton saying "all Americans stand united with the people of Turkey against this campaign of hatred and violence."
Donald Trump, however, continued his isolationist rhetoric, saying, "We must take steps now to protect America from terrorists." Adding, "The terrorist threat has never been greater...Our enemies are brutal and ruthless and will do anything to murder those who do not bend to their will."
(Photo: Emrah Gurel/AP Photo)
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