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Gunman attacks nightclub in Istanbul, dozens of people dead

The club was packed with people celebrating the new year.

A gunman opened fire at a nightclub in Turkey late Saturday, killing dozens of people out celebrating the new year.

The Washington Post reports the attack began at about 1 a.m. Istanbul time, at the club Reina. The gunman shot and killed a police officer guarding the door, then continued into the club.

Gov. Vasip Sahin of Istanbul Province said as many as 600 people were in the club, the New York Times reports.

“Inside, he rained bullets brutally, mercilessly over innocent people who were there just to celebrate the New Year and have fun," he said.

The BBC reports at least 35 people are dead, and 40 more are injured. Sahin referred to it as a terror attack.

The club is located on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, and reports say some jumped into the water to escape.

The U.S. State Department said Americans in Istanbul should avoid the area, and contact family and friends back home to let them know they're safe.

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