National Security

Many Dead in Explosions at Istanbul Airport in Turkey

Multiple explosions occurred at Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey on Tuesday, killing at least 36 people and wounding many others in what officials described as a terrorist attack.

The Associated Press first reported that two explosions occurred at the airport, which took place before 11 p.m. local time Tuesday. The explosions were said to be the work of suicide attackers. Gunfire was also heard by witnesses at the time of the explosions.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that at least 36 people were killed in the attack, and that initial findings indicated that the attack was carried out by ISIS. He also said that three suicide bombers opened fire at the airport before blowing themselves up, according to initial findings.

Earlier, Bekir Bozdag, Turkey’s justice minister, provided an update on the number of casualties, saying that 31 people had been killed in the explosions and 147 wounded.

Earlier reports indicated that the blasts were the work of two suicide bombers.

"According to information I have received, at the entrance to the Ataturk Airport international terminal a terrorist first opened fire with a Kalashnikov and then blew [himself] up," Bozdag said in a statement earlier Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Turkey has been the site of multiple attacks in recent months at the hands of ISIS and other militant groups.

The airport is a major transportation hub for international travelers.

The explosions rocked the Ataturk Airport one day after the State Department issued an updated travel alert for Turkey, warning U.S. citizens of the increased threat from terrorists groups there and urging them to avoid traveling to southeastern Turkey, near its border with Syria.

"Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations," the State Department said. "U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans and remain vigilant at all times."

This post will be updated as further information becomes available.