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Kyrgyz Government, Turkish Media Name Two Istanbul Suicide Bombers

  • VOA News

In this photo made from a video, people believed to be the attackers walk in Istanbul's Ataturk airport, June 28, 2016. Turkish authorities have banned distribution of images relating to the Ataturk airport attack within Turkey.

In this photo made from a video, people believed to be the attackers walk in Istanbul's Ataturk airport, June 28, 2016. Turkish authorities have banned distribution of images relating to the Ataturk airport attack within Turkey.

Kyrgyz authorities and Turkish media have identified two of the three suicide bombers who carried Tuesday's attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport, killing 44 people and injuring more than 230.

Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that Turkish authorities identified the two bombers as Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, and that both men had Russian passports.

On Thursday, Western news agencies, quoting a senior Turkish official, reported that the three attackers in Istanbul were citizens of Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Turkish officials believe the attack was carried out by the Islamic State group.

The website of Turkey's Daily Sabah newspaper on Friday quoted an anonymous Turkish prosecution office source as saying that Osmanov had been identified from a passport photocopy given to a property agent in Istanbul's Fatih district. It also reported that the source "did not give any information on either man's nationality."

Airport employees attend a ceremony for their friends, who were killed in Tuesday's attack at the airport, at the international departure terminal of Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, June 30, 2016.

Airport employees attend a ceremony for their friends, who were killed in Tuesday's attack at the airport, at the international departure terminal of Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, June 30, 2016.

Also Friday, the website of Turkey's Yeni Safak newspaper described Bulgarov and Osmanov as "Russian citizens."

Meanwhile, the newspaper Milliyet reported that the information from the passport that contains Osmanov's name was in the process of being verified to determine whether it had been counterfeited.

Turkish and Western media have named Akhmad Chataev, a Chechen militant who reportedly became a senior figure in the Islamic State hierarchy, as the likely mastermind of the Istanbul attack.

In February 2015, Chataev appeared in an IS YouTube video shot in Syria, claiming to be commander of the Yarmuk Battalion, a Russian-speaking IS unit.

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