UPDATE: 6:40 a.m. EDT — The Istanbul Governor’s Office updated the death toll to 41 in Tuesday’s suicide bombings at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport. Thirty-seven victims have been identified and those included 10 foreign nationals and three people with dual citizenship. More than 230 people were injured in the attack. However, 109 of those have been discharged from hospitals.
UPDATE: 2:30 a.m. EDT — Germany and NATO condemned Tuesday’s suicide bombings at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport, which killed 36 people and injured nearly 150.
NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Turkey’s 27 allies stand with the country. “My thoughts are with the families of the victims, those injured and the people of Turkey. There can be no justification for terrorism,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.
Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Wednesday he was “deeply shocked by the cowardly and brutal attack on Istanbul’s airport.”
“Terrorism has once again shown its ugly face and innocent people have lost their lives,” he said, adding that Germany “we will continue our fight against terrorism together with our allies with full force.”
Meanwhile, Iran announced that it has suspended all flights to the Turkish airport, Reuters reported citing Fars news agency.
"Due to last night's explosion at Ataturk Airport ... all Iranian flights are suspended until their safety and security are guaranteed," Reza Jafarzadeh, director of the public relations at Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, reportedly said.
Airports across the United States have stepped up security in the wake of suicide bombings at Istanbul Atatürk Airport Tuesday. Turkish officials have blamed Islamic State group militants for the attack that killed at least 36 people and injured nearly 150 at Turkey’s biggest airport.
Additional police force has been deployed across U.S. airports. Following the attacks, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said, in a statement, that the agency is in contact with its domestic, international and private airports.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued a statement saying that its police have deployed officers equipped with tactical weapons at New York’s John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports and at New Jersey’s Newark International Airport.
“The agency continues to monitor the situation in Turkey and is collaborating with federal, state and local law enforcement partners to include the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force,” the Port Authority said.
Similarly, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Miami International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport have also beefed up security following the fatal attacks in Turkey. LAX said that it has already upped the security at the airport ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.
“In light of the violent attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, and the upcoming July 4th holiday travel period, we remain vigilant in our mission,” LAX said in a statement cited by CBS News.
Meanwhile, air traffic at Istanbul Atatürk Airport returned to normal early Wednesday, according to officials. Three suicide bombers had attacked the busy airport. A Turkish official, on the condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that two of the attackers detonated explosives at the entrance of the international arrivals terminal after police opened fire at them. A third attacker blew himself up in the parking lot.
Turkey shares borders with war-torn Syria and Iraq, where ISIS controls large swaths of territories. Officials in Turkey have blamed ISIS for several attacks in the country in the past year, including in the capital Ankara and in Istanbul. The country is also tackling threat from Kurdish rebels, who have been blamed for recent fatal attacks across Turkey.
Lately, Islamist militant groups across the world have targeted major airports. The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings at Brussels Airport in March that killed 16 people.
Al Qaeda’s Somali affiliate al-Shabab exploded a bomb at a central Somali town on March 7. No deaths were reported in the incident but three people were injured.
Last August and December, Kabul’s international airport was rocked with suicide bombings killing one person. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the December attack.
On Feb. 3, 2015, Egyptian officials defused two explosives at Cairo International Airport. While one bomb was placed in the arrival hall of the terminal hosting EgyptAir, another explosive was planted near a police patrol location in the airport’s parking area. No deaths were reported.