Trial begins over IS attack on Istanbul airport

November 13, 2017

ISTANBUL (AP) — The trial against dozens of suspects accused of involvement in last year’s deadly attack on Istanbul’s main international airport has begun Monday.

Forty-six defendants, with alleged links to the Islamic State group, are on trial for murder, attempting to overthrow constitutional order and membership in a terror group, among other charges. The prosecutor has demanded life sentences.

On June 28, 2016, three suspected IS militants armed with automatic weapons stormed Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul and detonated their suicide vests, killing 45 people and injuring 163 others.

The defendants include Russian nationals, among them Chechens, along with Algerian, Tunisian, Egyptian, Syrian and Turkish citizens, according to details of the indictment reported by the official Anadolu Agency.

The indictment identified the deceased attackers as Vadim Osmanav and Rakhim Bulgarov, while the third man’s name remains unknown. Anadolu said the perpetrators made reconnaissance trips to Ataturk airport on at least three occasions before the attack.

The trial is taking place in Silivri, on the outskirts of Istanbul by a large prison complex. Four of the suspects haven’t yet been found, while the rest are behind bars.

Turkey has suffered a string of attacks blamed on IS militants that have killed more than 300 people since 2015.

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