A triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport killed at least 36 people and left scores wounded, in the latest deadly strike to rock Turkey's biggest city.
The attackers began spraying bullets at airport guards at the terminal entrance and a shootout erupted before they blew themselves up one by one at around 10pm (3am Singapore time Wednesday), Turkish authorities said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the death toll at the airport stood at 36, while the Dogan news agency said that 88 others were injured.
Erdogan urged an international "joint fight" against terror after the attack, the fourth deadly bombing in Istanbul this year alone.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which prompted the suspension of all flights in and out of the the airport, Turkey's busiest. The airport resumed operations a little after 3am.
Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said three suicide bombers had carried out the attack, striking during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Security camera footage widely circulated on social media appeared to capture two of the blasts. In one clip a huge ball of flame erupts at an entrance to the terminal building, scattering terrified passengers.
Another video shows a black-clad attacker running inside the building before collapsing to the ground - apparently felled by a police bullet - and blowing himself up.
Witnesses described scenes of panic as the blasts hit, while images on social media showed passengers lying on the floor and luggage trolleys overturned. "It was very strong, everyone panicked and started running in all directions," one witness told CNN Turk.
Security staff yelled at passengers as they rushed to evacuate them from the airport. Police set up a security cordon around the site, while a dozen ambulances rushed to the scene.
An AFP photographer saw bodies covered with sheets at the terminal, which bore heavy damage from the blasts.
Bullet holes peppered the windows and shattered glass lay on the floor, while abandoned luggage was scattered everywhere.
Hundreds of police and firefighters including forensic officers were at the scene.
"Somebody came and shot at us and then my sister was running," Otfah Mohamed Abdullah told AFP.
"I don't know which way she was running and after that I was falling down. I was on the ground till he finished... I can't find my sister."
Police set up a security cordon around the site as a dozen ambulances rushed to the scene.
There was panic at the nearest hospital in Istanbul's Bakirkoy district, which was inundated with relatives desperate for news of loved ones.
ISLAMIC STATE SUSPECTED
Turkey has been hit by a string of deadly attacks in the past year, blamed on both Kurdish rebels and the Islamic State militant group.
The Turkish airport attack also follows coordinated suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a city metro station in March that left 32 people dead.
Brussels airport tweeted its condolences, saying: "Our thoughts are with the victims of the attacks at @istanbulairport. "We wish them, their relatives & all airport staff strength & courage."
Dogan news agency cited police sources indicating IS is believed to have played a role, though Turkish officials said it was too early to confirm a link.
Security expert Abdullah Agar told CNN the attack bore the hallmarks of a militant attack. "It really bears a resemblance to their methods," he said in reference to the Brussels bombings, which were claimed by IS.
The US and French consulates warned people to stay away from the area, while Turkish officials said flights would be cancelled until at least 8.00am on Wednesday morning.
After the airport carnage, Erdogan met with his prime minister and military chief. "We urge the world, especially Western countries, to take a firm stand against terrorism," Erdogan said in a statement.
"Despite paying a heavy price, Turkey has the power, determination and capacity to continue the fight against terrorism until the end."
Istanbul, a major tourism hub that is home to some 15 million people, has suffered several attacks in recent months, including a bombing in the heart of the tourist district that killed a dozen German visitors and was blamed on IS.
Two months later, three Israelis and an Iranian were killed in a bombing on the city's main Istiklal shopping street, an attack also blamed on IS.
A blast on the tarmac at the other Istanbul airport, Sabiha Gokcen, killed a cleaner and wounded another in December, damaging several planes.
Located just outside Turkey's biggest city, Ataturk airport served more than 60 million passengers in 2015, making it one of the busiest in the world.
Turkey has been hit by at least five attacks blamed on IS militants, including a blast in Ankara in October 2015 that left over 100 dead.
However, IS extremists have never formally claimed responsibility for an attack in Turkey.
Turkey was long accused by its Western partners of turning a blind eye to the dangers posed by IS but has in recent months considerably stepped up police raids on the group's cells in the country.
Ankara has meanwhile launched a sustained offensive against the outlawed rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) following the collapse of a ceasefire last year.
Hundreds of members of the Turkish security forces have been killed in PKK attacks since the truce collapsed.
More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK took up arms in 1984 demanding a homeland for Turkey's biggest minority. The group is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and its Western allies.
The United States condemned what it called the "heinous" bombing and gun attack on the airport.
"Ataturk International Airport, like Brussels Airport which was attacked earlier this year, is a symbol of international connections and the ties that bind us together," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.
"We remain steadfast in our support for Turkey, our NATO ally and partner, along with all of our friends and allies around the world, as we continue to confront the threat of terrorism."
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the attack was "only the latest in a series of attacks aimed at killing and maiming innocent civilians".
"Such attacks will only reinforce our determination to work with the government of Turkey to counter the scourge of terrorism and support all those across the region who are working to promote peace and reconciliation," he said in a statement.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak also condemned the suicide bombing as he sent condolences to his Turkish counterpart.
"This serves as yet another reminder to the need for heightened intelligence cooperation in the war on terror," he said. "Malaysia stands firm and ready to unite with all countries in the fight against the scourge of terrorism.
"I strongly urge Muslim nations to unite and increase cooperation, especially in condemning and combating the acts of terror by those who blaspheme the name of Islam."