Two suspects on a motorcycle were detained at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport after they refused to stop and police shot in the air at them, the city’s governor said Sunday. Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin tweeted early Sunday morning that “there were no weapons or explosives on them.”
Vehicles were stopped from entering or leaving the airport during the pursuit of the suspects. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said traffic resumed after police detonated a bag on the suspects’ motorcycle in a controlled explosion. The bag did not contain explosives.
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The suspects have prior robbery records, according to the agency. Turkish Airlines tweeted that departures from Ataturk Airport, the third busiest in Europe, continued on schedule. Turkey has been in the throes of violence since July 2015 with multiple suicide bombings that the government blames on the Islamic State group. Those attacks have killed more than 250 people.
Turkey is also in the midst of a renewed conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against the Turkish state. Since the resumption of hostilities last year, more than 700 security forces and thousands of PKK militants have been killed, according to Anadolu.
In June, suicide bombers suspected to have links to the Islamic State group killed at least 44 and wounded hundreds in Ataturk Airport. IS has claimed responsibility for Friday’s car bomb in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, according to U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group. But the Diyarbakir governor’s office says PKK militants were behind that attack, which killed 11 people.