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Three suspected Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bombers who killed 43 people in a gun and bomb attack at Istanbul’s main airport this week were Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals, a Turkish government official said on Thursday June 30.
The suicide bombers opened fire to create panic outside, before two of them got inside the terminal building and blew themselves up. The third detonated his explosives at the entrance. At least 239 people were wounded in the attack.
According to Reuters, the Turkey official who confirmed the terrorists’ nationalities, declined to be named because details of the investigation have not yet been released. Forensics teams had been struggling to identify the bombers from their limited remains, officials said earlier.
“A medical team is working around the clock to conclude the identification process,” one of the officials said.
Interior Minister Efkan Ala told parliament that evidence continued to point to ISIS responsibility and that the death toll had risen to 43, of whom 19 were foreigners. Ala said the identity and nationality of one of the bombers had been determined but did not comment further.
The pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper said the Russian bomber was from Dagestan, which borders Chechnya. Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper named him as Osman Vadinov and said he had come from Raqqa, the heart of Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria.
The Russian interior ministry said it was checking information about Vadinov. A spokesman for Kyrgyzstan’s state security service said it was investigating, while the Uzbek security service had no immediate comment.