Three suicide bombers blew themselves up in the largest international airport of Istanbul on Tuesday night, killing 41 people and wounding 239, according to the latest official reports.
Fortunately, there are no Romanians among those killed.
First clues point to the Islamic State jihadist group as being behind the terrorist attack in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, Turkish Premier Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday morning, pointing out that at least 36 people lost their lives and many others were injured, international press agencies inform.
According to the AFP, Binali Yildirim explained that the three suicide bombers, whose identity and nationality have not been revealed, used assault rifles to open fire on passengers before blowing themselves up.
The Turkish Premier added that air traffic resumed starting at 3 a.m. local time (midnight GMT).
Romania’s General Consulate in Istanbul offered consular assistance to some 40 Romanian citizens who asked for support in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks at the Ataturk international airport, being accommodated at the nearby hotels, the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) informed in a release.
According to the source, consular teams went Tuesday night to local hospitals to check whether there were Romanian nationals among victims.
“The Romanian citizens assisted by the Consulate are not injured, except for one person who has bruising to their legs, resulting from the stampede. The life of this person is not in danger, the person has been evacuated and checked in to a hotel shortly after the explosions. (…) The families in Romania of more than 20 Romanian nationals who were in the airport when the blasts occurred were contacted by the General Consulate of Romania in Istanbul,” added the MAE.
According to the aforementioned source, consular teams went to local hospitals throughout the night in order to check whether Romanian citizens were among the victims.
“Efforts are being made to identify solutions as soon as possible to send back to the country the Romanian citizens whose flights were cancelled. The situation is permanently monitored by the MAE Central, a consular team within the MAE being prepared to travel to Istanbul if necessary to extend approaches of granting consular assistance to the Romanian nationals,” the release by the ministry adds.
The Romanian citizens and their relatives can call the General Consulate in Istanbul at +90 2123583541, +90 2123580516, +90 2123583537; the phone calls redirected to the Contact and Support Centre for Romanian Citizens Abroad (CCSCRS) and taken over by Call Centre operators 24/24, as well as the emergency mobile phone of the Romanian consular office in Istanbul + 90 5335420695.
President Iohannis: „Romania remains a committed partner in int’l fight against terrorism”
President Klaus Iohannis sent a condolence message following the Tuesday night attacks at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, reasserting Romania’s determination to further be a committed partner in the international fight against terrorism.
“The terrorist attacks on Tuesday night in Istanbul are an atrocity. Scores of people have lost their lives and over 140 were injured, following an act of cruelty targeting innocent citizens. I wish to express my most sincere condolences for the grieving families and to say that we are alongside those who right now are struggling for their lives. Such attacks should be prevented, and our country is and will further be a committed partner in the international fight against terrorism,” says Iohannis in a release.
Ex-PM Ponta was near Ataturk Airport at the time of the attack
Ex-Premier Victor Ponta, who was about to fly out of Istanbul on Tuesday evening, stated he had left the Ataturk Airport where the attack took place. According to sources, the ex-premier was scheduled to fly to Bucharest at midnight, Agerpres informs.
Victor Ponta stated in a posting on his social media page that Tuesday evening’s attack in Istanbul represents “yet another signal that nothing is more important in Europe today than collaborating to fight terrorism.”
“My condolences to the victims’ loved ones. Solidarity with the Turkish people in the fight against terrorist monsters! Yet another signal that nothing is more important in Europe today than collaborating to fight terrorism! I hope all Romanians who are now in the airport will be safe!” Ponta wrote on Facebook. Daciana Ponta, Ponta’s wife, had a similar experience, according to Qmagazine. Present in Brussels on March 22, she was heading toward the Zavantem airport when the terrorist attack that left 34 dead and 198 injured took place.