52 wounded still hospitalized after Istanbul airport attack

The suicide attackers who launched the deadly Istanbul airport assault were planning to take dozens of passengers hostage, Turkish media reported Friday, as two of the bombers were identified.

Turkish authorities had previously said they had indications the men were foreigners, but had not said where they came from.

The death toll from the attack has now risen to 43. The attack has not been claimed by any organization, but Turkish authorities say they suspect the Islamic State was behind it.

"This will pull Turkey into the war against ISIS more and that's a good thing", he said. "These were the guys who were essentially on the front lines guarding Falluja, the city they just lost in Iraq".

Aliriza added that the fact that many of these fighters would go on to join ISIS was "an unintended byproduct" of Turkey's anti-Assad strategy.

The attacks killed 44 people and injured 240 people.

An official said Friday that security forces have killed the mastermind of the February 17 attack.

In separate large-scale police operations, nine suspects believed to be linked to the group were also detained in the coastal city of Izmir.

A second-floor apartment in a working class Istanbul neighborhood is where the suicide bombers are believed to have lived in the weeks before the devastating attack on Turkey's bustling worldwide Ataturk Airport. At least 140 people have been killed.

Hundreds of mourners also gathered in Istanbul on Thursday for the funeral of popular 28-year-old teacher Huseyin Tunc, who was at the airport welcoming a friend.

Police officers patrol at Turkey's largest airport Istanbul Ataturk following yesterday's blast
REUTERS Osman Orsal Police officers patrol at Turkey's largest airport Istanbul Ataturk following yesterday's blast

Like the attack in Brussels, the terrorists took a taxi to the airport.

People from Chechnya and other provinces in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region have had a visible presence among Islamic State fighters.

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said initial indications suggested Daesh was responsible for the attack.

One attacker blew himself up outside of the airport, he said, causing a panic as people fled the gunfire and explosion.

"This is not Islamic".

"Muslims don't cut people's heads off", a Turkish local said.

Erdogan said: "We expect that a resolute stance against terrorist organisations should be adopted by the world and especially Western countries with their parliament, media and non-governmental organisations". "But nothing is for certain". "We have an agreement with Turkey, we're working on the benchmarks, and that will continue", Koenders said.

July 20, 2013: Authorities say a partly paralyzed man explodes a bomb inside Beijing Capital International Airport in hopes of winning redress over an alleged beating by public officials. In response, Turkey has accused Russian Federation of buying ISIS oil.

Aliriza noted that Turkey is likely to crack down on internal ISIS sympathizers and continue efforts to secure the border with Syria in the wake of Tuesday's attack.

Aeron Stein, a Middle East expert at the Atlantic Council think-tank characterized the terror attack this week as "one of the most high profile attacks internationally" because it targeted an worldwide airport serving as one of the busiest air traffic hubs between Europe and the rest of the world, particularly Africa and Asia.

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