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Speculation that Istanbul airport was under mortar attack

23 December 2015

Istanbul airports remain on alert following an explosion early on Wednesday morning which killed one cleaning woman and injured another. Both women were cleaning a Pegasus airline plane at the time.

Five other planes, hundreds of metres apart were also damaged in the blast which occurred at 2.05 am local time at Sabiha Gokcen, Istanbul’s second airport .

According to Malaysia Airports which owns Sabiha Gokcen, more than one explosion was reported on the tarmac. However, Istanbul Police Department has declined to comment while airport authorities continue their investigations of the incident. Police are searching the surrounding area to find any evidence of explosives or rockets being launched.

The main pictures shows damage to the terminal windows after the explosion.

Security measures have also increased at Istanbul’s Attaturk airport on the European side of the city.

Sabiha Gokcen airport is now mentioned in the British Embassy’s travel advice regarding Turkey. UK citizens are being warned of security concerns.

There is speculation in the Turkish media that the explosion could have been the result of mortar shelling. There have been reports that there were three separate explosions, bolstering theories that the airport had been attacked by rockets.

Meanwhile the airport authorities say that flight schedules at the airport continue as normal and that there has been no security breach.

Bomb attacks by Kurdish, leftist and Islamist militants are fairly common in Turkey. A three-decade-old conflict between the state and the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has flared up in the country’s mainly Kurdish Southeast since the collapse of a cease-fire in July.

Sabiha Gokcen Airport served around 26 million passengers in the first 11 months of the year, less than half the number at Ataturk Airport.

Zaman

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