A woman was killed and another wounded after an explosion ripped through Istanbul’s second international airport, Turkish television reports said last night.
About the same time, a blast tore through a popular Stockholm restaurant, just a week before the establishment opens its doors to revellers for its annual New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Nobody was hurt in the Stockholm blast, but in Istanbul, airport cleaner Zehra Yamac, 30, died of head wounds hours after the explosion on the tarmac at Sabiha Gokcen airport, CNN-Turk and NTV television reported.
Europe is on alert after massacres carried out by Islamist fanatics in Paris and unrest throughout the continent. ISIS militants are suspected to have entered Europe among the flood of refugees and asylum seekers that continues to sail and march across European borders, fleeing the Syrian civil war and other problems. Over a million migrants have entered Europe this year, figures released yesterday showed.
The bomb in Istanbul exploded just outside the airport’s terminal building, apparently on the air side. It was presumably packed with shrapnel as reports said it damaged three planes hundreds of metres apart and put a hole through one plane’s window.
Bombs have gone off in Turkey before, notably on 10 October 2015 when two suicide bombers detonated themselves in a crowd of peace activists in the capital Ankara and killed 103 people, the worst terrorist attack in modern Turkish history.
Sabiha Gokcen airport is on the Asian side of Istanbul while Ataturk Airport, the city’s main one, is on the European side of the city.
In Sweden meanwhile, a police bomb squad was last night examining the scene at Berns Salinger restaurant in central Stockholm after an “explosive object” was thrown at the premises.
It is the second violent incident at a nightclub in the Swedish capital in recent weeks, Sweden’s The Local reported. Just two weeks ago, on 8 December 2015, a gunman fired a series of shots at Sturecompagniet, one of Sweden’s oldest, biggest and most legendary nightclub venues. It’s located in Stockholm’s busy Stureplan square, an upmarket precinct favoured by business people, models and celebrities.
Sweden is generally safe, but Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises travellers:
On 18 November, the Swedish Security Service raised Sweden’s national terrorism threat level from three to four (on a five-point scale) indicating a ‘high threat’ level. On 12 November, due to the high number of asylum seekers entering Sweden, the Swedish Government has implemented new border controls. You should carry your passport with you at all times.
Written by Peter Needham