39 dead following an Istanbul new year nightclub attack

39 dead following an Istanbul new year nightclub attack
My fewer than 39 people, including at least 15 foreigners, have been killed in an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey’s interior minister says.

A gunman opened fire in Reina nightclub at about 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT), as revellers marked the new year.

Suleyman Soylu said efforts were continuing to find the attacker, who was believed to have acted alone.
At least 69 people were being treated in hospital, the minister added. Four were said to be in a serious condition.

“A manhunt for the terrorist is under way. Police have launched operations. We hope the attacker will be captured soon,” he said.

Only 21 of the victims had been identified, he said. Fifteen or 16 were foreigners, he said, and at least three of the Turkish victims may have been employees at the club.

39 dead following an Istanbul new year nightclub attack

“This was a massacre, a truly inhuman savagery,” he said.

Media reports suggest the attacker may have been wearing a Santa Claus outfit. The minister did not confirm this but said the assailant was believed to have left the club wearing “different clothing”.

Reina nightclub, in the the Ortakoy area of Istanbul, is an upscale venue on the banks of Bosphorus.

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said the attacker killed a policeman and a civilian outside the club before entering and opening fire.

“Before I could understand what was happening, my husband fell on top me,” the Associated Press news agency quoted Sinem Uyanik, who was inside the club, as saying.

“I had to lift several bodies from (on) top of me before I could get out. It was frightening.”

There were reportedly as many as 700 people in the nightclub at the time of the attack, some of whom jumped into the water to escape.

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