At least 40 dead after bombing at Istanbul airport

At least 40 dead after bombing at Istanbul airport
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At least 40 people were killed and more than 200 wounded after an apparent trio of suicide bombers struck the largest airport in Turkey on Tuesday, according to reports.

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A Turkish official told Reuters that suspects blew themselves up at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport after being stopped by authorities near a security checkpoint. The country's justice minister initially said 10 were dead after the strike, though that number was revised upward throughout Tuesday evening. By early Wednesday morning, CNN reported the death toll had risen to 41.

At least 20 people were taken to area hospitals, and reports indicated as many as 239 had been injured. Taxis were allegedly being used to transport the wounded.

According to a Turkish official, one of the attackers opened fire with a Kalashnikov rifle before detonating himself.

Turkey, which has been battling a Kurdish insurgency to its south and assisting coalition efforts to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, was wracked by terrorist attacks earlier this year. In March, 37 people were killed and more than a hundred were injured when a car bomb was detonated in Ankara, the country's capital.

A Kurdish separatist group claimed responsibility for that attack.

President Obama was briefed on the explosions by counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco, according to the White House.

On Monday, the State Department issued an alert warning travelers of "increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey.”

The warning, similar to several others sounded recently, advised travelers to avoid the region near the country's border with Syria and to "stay away from large crowds."

— Jordan Fabian contributed. Last updated on June 29 at 6:44 a.m.