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Istanbul airport bombers ‘planned hostage-taking’

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A CCTV video footage of the three men believed to be the attackers who carried out a gun-and-suicide bomb attack in Istanbul's Ataturk airport on June 28, 2016/AFP

A CCTV video footage of the three men believed to be the attackers who carried out a gun-and-suicide bomb attack in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on June 28, 2016/AFP

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Jul 1 – The suicide attackers who launched the deadly Istanbul airport assault were planning to take dozens of passengers hostage, Turkish media reported Friday, as two of the bombers were identified.

Turkish officials have pointed blame at the Islamic State jihadist group for Tuesday’s gun and bomb spree at Ataturk airport, which left 44 people dead including 19 foreigners.

“They say they are doing this in the name of Islam,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on a visit to Istanbul.

“That has nothing to do with Islam. Their place is in hell,” he added.

State-run news agency Anadolu said 24 people had been detained in Istanbul in a string of raids over the attack, including 15 foreigners.

Citing a prosecution source, the agency named two of the attackers as Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, without giving their nationalities.

Officials had previously said the three bombers were a Russian, an Uzbek and a Kyrgyz national.

Police had also found a damaged laptop in a dustbin near an Istanbul apartment used by the attackers and were trying to retrieve information from it, Anadolu added.

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