Mortar attack caused explosion at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

7 January 2016 (Last Updated January 7th, 2016 18:30)

The fatal explosion at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen International Airport on 23 December was caused by a mortar attack, the prosecutor's investigation has revealed.

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The fatal explosion at Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen International Airport on 23 December was caused by a mortar attack, the prosecutor's investigation has revealed.

On the day, four mortar shells were fired at 2:15am local time from a forested area 1.25 miles away, killing a member of staff member and injuring another, as well as damaging several planes.

It is believed that the attackers might have attempted to hit a passenger plane, launching the mortars at the airport, with three shells falling near the apron, reported Hurriyetdailynews.com.

Shrapnel pieces from the mortar shells damaged several planes on the apron, killing 30-year-old cleaner Zehra Yamac, and leaving her 33-year-old colleague Canan Celik with a hand injury.

Police planted a ring of steel around the airport and are rummaging vehicles and planes in the area for explosives.

"It remains unclear who carried out the attack or if the assailants have any connection to a terrorist organisation."

Istanbul Anatolia chief public prosecutor's office was quoted by Express as saying: "It remains unclear who carried out the attack or if the assailants have any connection to a terror organisation."

Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, a militant group linked with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), claimed responsibility for the mortar attack.

The attack by the terrorist outfit was claimed to be a reply to the government's attacks on Kurdish cities.

Recently, Ankara has campaigned against the outlawed PKK in the southern border region. The Turkish Army has also been carrying out attacks against the group in northern Iraq.

These operations started after a deadly bomb attack on 20 July last year in Suruc, which killed more than 30 people. The Turkish Government blamed the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group for the attack.


Image: Shrapnel pieces from the mortar shells damaged several planes on the airport apron. Photo: courtesy of aachim3/Wikipedia.