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Turkish Prime Minister says ISIL responsible for Istanbul airport suicide bombing
Turkey’s Prime Minister confirms 36 people are dead and over 140 are injured in what he calls a planned act of Islamic State terrorism. PM Binali Yildirim says preliminary findings point to the Islamic State although no group has claimed responsibility yet.
Security personnel say at around 9:30 p.m. local time Tuesday evening, three men got out of taxis at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, the third busiest in Europe and the 11th busiest in the world.
Details are still murky on exactly how the attack was carried out, but so far authorities believe the men split up, two going to the arrivals gates and one going to the departures gates.
Witnesses say Turkish authorities quickly confronted the men before they could reach security check points while at the same time shepherding bystanders away from the area.
At one security area, witnesses say they saw one airport guard tackle one of the shooters. At that point, they say the attacker detonated his suicide vest.
The officer who sacrificed himself has not been identified. The other two attackers were involved in a fire fight with guards before detonating their suicide vests.
A U.S. counterterrorism official who wished to remain anonymous says using suicide bombers against “soft” targets, in other words locations with light military presence and high concentration of civilians, fits the Islamic State’s patterns of attack. This person also says nearby Kurdish militants are also a suspect, but they generally attack official government targets.
1 injured, 3 missing in Texas train collision
A head-on collision involving two freight trains caused several box cars to derail and erupt in flames in the Texas Panhandle on Tuesday, injuring an unknown amount of people and leading authorities to evacuate people who live nearby.
The accident happened near the town of Panhandle, about 25 miles northeast of Amarillo, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Bryan Witt.
“One person was transported by EMS to the Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo,” says Dan Buesing with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “We still have 3 people unaccounted for, and unfortunately we do fear that they may still be trapped in the train at this time.”
The city of Panhandle told the local CBS affiliate residents east of State Highway 207 were being evacuated due to shifting winds near the area of the wreck. Additionally, the airspace near the wreck was shut down due to the large amount of smoke.
Billy Brown, a farmer who lives in the area, says he saw a fireball erupt after the collision.
“I don’t know how anyone survived,” Brown says. “It’s terrible. I’ve seen a number of train wrecks but I’ve never seen one like this.”
Official catches alligator in Banks County, Ga
Banks County officials say they found themselves wrangling an out-of-place alligator near a popular shopping center Tuesday afternoon.
“Our dispatch center received a report around 5:30 p.m. from Banks County EMS in reference to an alligator in the area of Industrial Park Drive and Industrial Park Boulevard,” says Banks County Sheriff’s Lt. Carissa McFaddin. “Deputies were unable to respond immediately due to a high call volume at the time.”
The sighting of the six- to seven-foot gator was a short distance from the heavily-populated Banks Crossing shopping area.
Banks County Fire/EMS crews responded and assisted the county’s code enforcement officer to catch the six- to seven-foot gator and bind it with ductape.
They say no one was injured and Georgia Department of Natural Resources will soon respond to find the gator a new home.