Friday, July 1, 2016

DFA: No Pinoys hurt in Istanbul airport attack

No Filipinos have been reported hurt in the gun and bomb attack on Istanbul's main international airport on Tuesday that killed 36 people and injured close to 150, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official said. 
"No Filipino among those hurt," DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis said in a text message on Wednesday, citing a report from Philippine Ambassador to Turkey Maria Rowena Sanchez. 
Later in an interview on GMA News TV's Balitanghali, Sanchez said they are checking hospitals in Istanbul to determine if Filipino tourists were affected by the attacks in the Ataturk international airport.
Around 3,500 Filipinos are living or working in Turkey, 2,000 of them based in Istanbul, according to Sanchez.
She also advised Filipinos to contact the Embassy's 24-hour hotline at (+90) 534 577 2344 to report any concerns.
'Life goes on'
Karen Lim, a Filipina living in Turkey, said life goes on despite what happened.
"Wala naman akong nararamdamang pangamba despite yung mga recent attacks na nangyayari sa Ankara at Istanbul. Normal pa rin naman yung bahay namin dito. Hindi pa rin kami natatakot lumabas sa pampublikong lugar, gumamit ng pampublikong sasakyan," she said during the program. 
To avoid being the target of terrorist attacks, Sanchez urged Filipinos to temporarily stay away from public places such as shopping malls, markets, railway station, airport, parks, and police and military installations.
"Meron kaming nare-receive na warning either through text or email. Fina-follow natin, whether or not it's true, mas makakabuti sigurado di ba?" Lim said.
Reports said suspected Islamic State suicide bombers opened fire in the departures hall of Ataturk international airport before they blew themselves up after police fired at them. 
The attack took place during the holy month of Ramadan, earning condemnation from the United States and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who stressed the need to intensify global efforts to combat extremism. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News

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