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Turkey - Istanbul Governor: At Least 35 People Killed In Nightclub Attack

Published on: December 31, 2016 06:56 PM
Last updated on: December 31, 2016 07:37 PM
By: AP
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Police secure area near an Istanbul nightclub, Turkey, January 1, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal -Police secure area near an Istanbul nightclub, Turkey, January 1, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal -

Istanbul -  An assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations Saturday, killing at least 35 people and wounding 40 others in what the city’s governor described as a terror attack.

Gov. Vasip Sahin said the attacker, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside the club before entering and firing on people partying inside. He did not say who may have carried out what he called a “terror attack.”

“Unfortunately (he) rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’s and have fun,” Sahin told reporters.

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Media reports said the assailant entered the popular Reina nightclub, in Istanbul’s Ortakoy district, at 1:45 am, dressed in a Santa Claus costume. There were more than 500 people inside the club at the time, private NTV television reported.


An ambulance rushes from the scene of an attack in Istanbul, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Turkey's state-run news agency said an armed assailant has opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations. (AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal)An ambulance rushes from the scene of an attack in Istanbul, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Turkey's state-run news agency said an armed assailant has opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations. (AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal)

Some customers jumped into the waters of the Bosporus to escape the attack, the report said.

NTV television said the assailant may still be inside the nightclub.

Footage from the scene showed at least six ambulances with flashing lights and civilians being escorted out. NTV said police had cordoned off the area and an operation to capture the assailant was ongoing.

An AP photographer said police cordoned off the area about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away from the nightclub and reported multiple ambulances passing by.

Security measures had been heightened in major Turkish cities, with police barring traffic leading up to key squares in Istanbul and the capital Ankara. In Istanbul, 17,000 police officers were put on duty, some camouflaged as Santa Claus and others as street vendors, state news agency Anadolu reported.

Ankara and Istanbul have been targeted by several attacks in 2016 carried out by the Islamic State group or Kurdish rebels, killing more than 180 people.

People leave as medics and security officials work at the scene after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. APPeople leave as medics and security officials work at the scene after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. AP


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Read Comments (3)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 31, 2016 at 08:00 PM Secular Says:

The suspects are obvious:

A) Satmar chassidim

B) Quakers and seventh day Adventists.

C) the Russians and Wiki leaks.

D) Radical Islamic terrororists.

Hummmm.

2

 Dec 31, 2016 at 10:52 PM thetruthis Says:

Reply to #1  
Secular Says:

The suspects are obvious:

A) Satmar chassidim

B) Quakers and seventh day Adventists.

C) the Russians and Wiki leaks.

D) Radical Islamic terrororists.

Hummmm.

Shkuyach. I got my milsa di'bdichusa for the day.

3

 Dec 31, 2016 at 11:41 PM SmartRealist Says:

Maybe Turkey understands Gaza now
I think after all they did to Israel it makes it hard to feel bad for them, they breeded hatred in their country for years
Hashem does have a sense of humor

4

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