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Latest: Israeli president offers support to Turkey

Israel and Turkey have agreed to restore full diplomatic relations after 6 years of animosity.

Published: 29th June 2016 02:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2016 05:37 PM   |  A+A-

Istanbul_Attack_AP

Passengers embrace each other as they wait outside Istanbul's Ataturk airport. (AP)

By AP

ISTANBUL — The Latest on the explosions at Istanbul's Ataturk airport:

 

Israel's president has told his Turkish counterpart that their countries' new reconciliation pact will help with joint efforts to combat attacks like the one at Istanbul airport.

In a condolence letter, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Israel is willing to help Turkey to recover from the attack, and to work together to thwart future attacks.

"I take this opportunity to welcome the chance to renew our good relationship especially because our strengthened dialogue will greatly aid in our joint efforts against this threat, and because it sends a strong message to the terrorists that we will stand untied against hatred," Rivlin said in the letter.

Israel and Turkey have agreed to restore full diplomatic relations after six years of animosity between the once-close allies.

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Pakistan's Foreign Ministry has condemned the attacks on Ataturk airport in Istanbul that killed 41 people.

In a statement released to media Wednesday, the ministry says "we offer our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families and to the brotherly people and government of Turkey" and that Pakistan reiterates its condemnation of terrorism "in all forms and manifestations".

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says he is deeply saddened by the terrorist attack the previous night at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul.

In a statement released Wednesday, Ghani says that "the people of Afghanistan feel the pain and suffering of the people of Turkey more than others, as we have been the victim of terrorism for years."

Ghani added that he considers terrorism a great threat for the security of the region and the world, and reiterated that joint action by all countries is needed.

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The Palestinian ambassador to Turkey says a Palestinian woman was killed in the blasts at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport and six Palestinians were injured, including a 17-year-old girl from the Gaza Strip who suffered critical injuries.

Ambassador Faed Mustafa confirmed the death and injuries to Palestinian media Wednesday.

Nisreen Melhem, 28, from the West Bank town of Arraba, was killed and her 34-year-old husband and 3-year-old daughter were injured, according to Moath Hamed, a Palestinian journalism student visiting the family in the hospital.

The Palestinians were living and working in Saudi Arabia and had landed in Istanbul for vacation.

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Pope Francis has denounced the "brutal terrorist attack" at Istanbul's airport and is calling for the killers behind it to change their ways.

In a noontime blessing from his studio window, Francis said he was praying for the victims, their families "and the dear Turkish people." He asked the entire piazza to pray in silence and then led the crowd in the Hail Mary prayer.

He said: "May the Lord convert the hearts of the violent ones and support our efforts toward the path of peace."

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The Istanbul Governor's Office says 41 people have been killed in the deadly suicide bombing attack in Istanbul's Ataturk airport blamed on the Islamic State group.

A statement on the governor's website says 37 of the victims have been identified, including 10 foreign nationals and three people with dual citizenship. More than 230 people were wounded in the attack, but 109 have been discharged from hospitals.

A Turkish official who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol says the death toll does not include three suicide bombers who died.

The Palestinian ambassador to Turkey says a Palestinian woman was among the dead. Separately, the Turkish official said five Saudis, two Iraqis, one Tunisian, an Uzbek, a Chinese, an Iranian, a Ukrainian and a Jordanian national were killed.

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Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen is "crying with the Turkish people who once again are witnesses to a cowardly terrorist attack."

Nordic and Baltic governments condemned Wednesday the attack at Istanbul's main airport that killed 36 people and wounded scores of others.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg tweeted her "thoughts are with those who lost their lives, the wounded and their loved ones."

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics conveyed "his deepest sympathies" while Finland Prime Minister Juha Sipila sent his condolences to his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim.

The region's foreign ministries said there were no reports of Nordic or Baltic victims.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences to Turkey which was hit by suicide attacks on Tuesday, killing dozens at Istanbul's airport.

Following a statement in Moscow Putin is expected to offer his condolences in the telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, their first conversation in seven months after Russia froze its ties with Turkey in response to Turkey shooting down its military jet.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that the attacks at the Ataturk airport are "just another reminder of the importance of joint efforts to fight our common threat — terrorism."

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Greece's Foreign Ministry has expressed "rage and revulsion" over the attacks at Istanbul airport, condemning the suicide bomb attacks that claimed the lives of at least 36 people.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that a Greek consular team had gone to the airport immediately after the blasts to provide assistance to Greek citizens to ensure they were transported safely to hotels in the city, and the Greek Consulate in Istanbul was working to help repatriate citizens. The ministry said there were no indications that any Greeks were among the casualties of the attacks.

Istanbul has a resident Greek community and is also a popular destination for visiting Greek tourists.

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Turkish officials say an Iranian and a Ukrainian are among victims of Istanbul airport attack.

Tuesday's attack at the city's main Ataturk Airport killed 36 people and wounded scores of others. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the Islamic State group was behind the attack. He said three suicide bombers attacked the airport with automatic weapon fire before blowing themselves up.

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France's foreign minister has condemned the attack on Istanbul's airport as "odious and cowardly."

Offering condolences, Jean-Marc Ayrault assured that France "is at Turkey's side in the fight against terrorism."

As usual in such circumstances, France opened a crisis cell to maintain close contact with Turkish authorities, and provides any needed instructions to the French community there.

Ayrault counseled prudence to French people in Turkey, a prime destination for French tourists.

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Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, whose plane landed in Istanbul minutes after the attacks on Istanbul's airport, has expressed his condolences to the victims.

Rama said in a message on Twitter that he felt "deep pity for the lost innocent lives in that barbarous act of those who have neither God or hope nor a place among the people."

Rama, Finance Minister Arben Ahmetaj and a delegation on Wednesday are on an official visit to Turkey. Rama said all of the planned meetings would go ahead.

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Turkish officials say Istanbul's busy Ataturk International Airport has reopened, hours after three suicide bombers killed 36 and wounded 147.

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters that air traffic returned to normal and "Our airport has been opened to flights and departures from 02:20 (local time) on," in a press statement at the airport early Wednesday morning.

Turkish Airline's website says "flight operations have been restarted" and instructs passengers to monitor actual flight information.

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Germany's top security official is condemning the attack on Istanbul's airport as "cowardly and brutal."

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said his thoughts were with the victims and their families, and vowed that "we will continue our fight against terrorism together with our allies with full force."

De Maiziere said in a statement Wednesday he was "deeply shocked by the cowardly and brutal attack on Istanbul's airport."

He says "terrorism has once again shown its ugly face and innocent people have lost their lives."

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NATO's chief has strongly condemned the "horrific attacks" at Istanbul's airport, and said Turkey's 27 allies in the U.S-led political and military organization stand with it.

Jens Stoltenberg, NATO's secretary-general, said in a statement: "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. "NATO Allies stand in solidarity with Turkey, united in our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms."

Officials on Wednesday morning began assessing the damage caused at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport by three suicide bombers who killed dozens and wounded more than 140.

Workers were brought in to remove debris left by the blast, while in the daylight the damage to the terminal became clearer with even ceiling panels hit.

The airport was partially reopened, with the information board inside the airport showing that about one third of scheduled flights have been canceled, with a host of others delayed.

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A stoppage of flights to and from the United States and Istanbul Ataturk Airport lasted several hours but has been lifted, said a U.S. official who spoke on background to discuss sensitive security issues. The official said the stoppage was lifted in the middle of the evening.


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