Istanbul authorities make progress in airport attack investigation

The latest development has led Turkish authorities to believe that Isis carried out the attack.

Relatives of suicide attack victim Mohammad Eymen Demirci mourn on 29 June 29 2016 in Istanbul during his funeral a day after a suicide bombing and gun attack targeted Istanbul's Ataturk airport. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Police investigating the Istanbul airport terror attack have been showing a picture of three men to residents of a neighbourhood where they believe the suspects rented an apartment.

The latest development in the investigation has led Turkish authorities to believe the attack was coordinated from Isis' self-declared capital in Syria.

While the government believes the militant group is behind the attack that left 44 people dead hundreds more injured, it has not said if it believes others were directly involved.

The attack on one of the world's busiest airports, a hub at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, was the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings in Turkey this year.

Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said: "The evidence, documents and findings we have obtained corroborate the predictions that this attack was carried out by Isis."

TURKISH OFFICIAL: ISTANBUL AIRPORT BOMBERS WERE RUSSIAN, UZBEK, KYRGYZ

The suspected Isis suicide bombers were Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals, a Turkish government official said on Thursday.

The three bombers opened fire to create panic outside the airport, before two of them got inside the terminal building and blew themselves up. The third detonated his explosives at the entrance. A further 238 people were wounded.

The official gave no further details beyond confirming the attackers' nationalities and declined to be named because details of the investigation have not yet been released. Forensics teams had been struggling to identify the bombers from their limited remains, officials said earlier.

"A medical team is working around the clock to conclude the identification process," one of the officials said.

Interior Minister Efkan Ala told parliament that evidence continued to point to Isis being responsible and that 19 of the dead were foreigners. Ala said the identity and nationality of one of the bombers had been determined but did not comment further.

The pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper said the Russian bomber was from Dagestan, which borders Chechnya, where Moscow has led two wars against separatists and religious militants since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper named him as Osman Vadinov and said he had come from Raqqa, the heart of Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria. The Russian interior ministry said it was checking information about Vadinov.