Fear and chaos

Eye­wit­ness de­scribes scenes as ter­ror­ists strike in Is­tan­bul

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Sar­wat Nasir @Sar­watNasir

A pas­sen­ger has told how he and his wife hid in a cup­board bran­dish­ing a pot of boil­ing wa­ter as ter­ror­ists at­tacked Is­tan­bul’s Ataturk Air­port.

Iraqi jour­nal­ist Steven Nar­bil, 29, was at the air­port on Tues­day night with his wife as they re­turned from their hon­ey­moon when sus­pected ISIS ex­trem­ists killed at least 41 peo­ple.

More than 230 peo­ple were also in­jured, with dozens in crit­i­cal con­di­tion last night.

Nar­bil said that he and his wife hid in a closet for 45 min­utes.

He said: “We were tran­sit­ing from our hon­ey­moon through Is­tan­bul to New York. We came down the stairs to see the food court empty and the ter­ror­ist fir­ing to­ward us.”

He said he grabbed his wife’s arm and fled.

“We took cover in a closet in­side a hair sa­lon,” he said. “For 45 min­utes we were sit­ting and wait­ing to find out who will open the door. In the closet I was beg­ging my wife to keep calm be­cause the noise might draw any at­tack­ers.

“To pro­tect her, if they opened the door and took hostages, we had boil­ing tea wa­ter as a weapon to burn an at­tacker if he found us in the closet.

“When we made it out of stor­age room, we ran down­stairs and took shel­ter with oth­ers.”

Nar­bil said there was blood ev­ery­where.

The at­tack­ers ar­rived by taxi, of­fi­cials said. The state-run Anadolu news agency said one en­tered the in­ter­na­tional de­par­tures area with an as­sault ri­fle, was shot by a po­lice of­fi­cer, and det­o­nated his ex­plo­sives. At the same mo­ment, ac­cord­ing to the Anadolu ac­count, some­one stand­ing at the door of the in­ter­na­tional ar­rivals area started shout­ing, send­ing peo­ple in­side scur­ry­ing in all di­rec­tions while an armed man en­tered. Se­cu­rity forces fired on the at­tacker, and he det­o­nated his ex­plo­sives be­fore reach­ing the X-Ray con­trol. A third at­tacker re­port­edly blew him­self up out­side the ar­rivals ter­mi­nal. An­other eye­wit­ness, Paul Roos, a South African tourist who was due to fly home with his wife, said: “We came up from the ar­rivals to the de­par­tures, up the es­ca­la­tor when we heard these shots go­ing off. There was this guy go­ing roam­ing around, he was dressed in black and he had a hand­gun.”

ES­CAPE: Pas­sen­gers leave Ataturk Air­port af­ter the sui­cide bomb at­tacks

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