Turkey charges 17 more suspects over Istanbul airport attack

Turkey has charged 17 people, mostly Russians, over the recent deadly gun and bomb attack at Istanbul’s international airport which was blamed on the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group.

Turkey’s private Dogan news agency reported on Tuesday that the suspects, including 11 Russians and six Turks, were accused of “membership of an armed terrorist organization.”

The 17, who were remanded in custody, bring to 30 the total number of those charged over the Ataturk airport carnage.

Last week, 13 suspects, including three foreigners, were charged in connection with the assault.

On June 28, three bombers opened fire outside the Ataturk airport. Later, two of the assailants got inside and set off their explosives while the third blew himself up at the entrance.

The incident killed 45 people, including 19 foreign nationals, and left more than 200 others injured. Of those wounded, 47 people are still in hospital.

Authorities have identified the bombers as a Russian, an Uzbek and a Kyrgyz national. According to the pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper, the Russian attacker was from the North Caucasus region of Dagestan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan talks to media after attending a morning prayer to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 5, 2016. ©Reuters

Also on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the fatal attack on Daesh elements from the ex-Soviet Union.

“The incident is of course completely within the framework of Daesh, a process conducted with their methods,” Erdogan told reporters after attending a morning prayer in Istanbul to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“There are people from Dagestan, from Kyrgyzstan, from Tajikistan,” he said in reference to the three bombers, adding, “Unfortunately, people from neighboring northern Caucasus countries are involved in this business.”

Yeni Safak daily has said that the organizer of the Istanbul airport carnage was suspected to be Akhmed Chatayev, of Chechen origin. The man is believed to be responsible for training Russian-speaking Daesh militants.

Turkey has been rocked by a series of attacks over the past year, blamed on both Daesh terrorists and Kurdish militants. The June 28 assault was the deadliest in a string of assaults this year in the country.

By Press TV