Istanbul Reina nightclub attack ‘leaves 35 dead’

BBC News

At least 35 people have lost their lives in an attack on a nightclub in Turkey, Istanbul’s governor has said.

Among the dead at the Istanbul club is one police officer, Vasip Sahin stated, adding that it was a terror attack.

At least another 40 were injured in the attack which took place in the Reina nightclub, in the Ortakoy area, at about 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT).  

One attacker was involved, the governor said, while CNN Turk reported he was dressed in a Santa Claus costume.

“A terrorist with a long-range weapon … brutally and savagely carried out this incident by firing bullets on innocent people who were there solely to celebrate the New Year and have fun,” Mr Sahin told reporters at the scene of the upmarket Reina nightclub, which sits on the banks of Bosphorus in the city’s European side.

An injured woman is taken to an ambulance in IstanbulImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionAt least 40 people were injured in the attack

The club was popular not only with Turks, but with foreigners as well, according to the BBC’s Selin Girit in Istanbul.

She said it was unclear what had happened to the gunman at this stage – adding that some eyewitnesses spoke of there being not one but two attackers.

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

Young people leave from the scene of an attack in Istanbul, early SundayImage copyrightAP
Image captionIt is thought as many as 700 people may have been at the club

Dogan news agency reported that some witnesses claimed the attackers were “speaking Arabic” while Turkish television channel NTV said special force police officers were searching the nightclub.

US President Barack Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii, was among the first international leaders to make a statement after being briefed by his team.

“The president expressed condolences for the innocent lives lost, directed his team to offer appropriate assistance to the Turkish authorities, as necessary, and keep him updated as warranted,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.

Map of Istanbul showing Reina nightclub on shore of Bosphorus
Staff of the Reina nightclub in Istanbul nightclub pose for a picture (file photo)Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionThe Reina nightclub, seen here in a file picture, is one of the most exclusive in Istanbul

Meanwhile, the Turkish government has ordered a temporary media blackout in the wake of the attack, citing security and public order concerns.

This is not the first time such an order has been made.

Istanbul was already on high alert with some 17,000 police officers on duty in the city, following a string of terror attacks in recent months.

Many were carried out by so-called Islamic State (IS) or Kurdish militants.

Medics and security officials work at the scene after an attack at a popular nightclub in IstanbulImage copyrightAP
Image captionAmbulances queue up outside the nightclub

Less than a fortnight ago, the Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead by off-duty Turkish policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas as he gave a speech in the capital Ankara in December.

After the shooting, the killer shouted the murder was in revenge for Russian involvement in the conflict in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

3 thoughts on “Istanbul Reina nightclub attack ‘leaves 35 dead’

  1. More bull! Take your terrorist attack and blow yourself up with it. Obama the first on the international scene, fake crying and showing such concern. Vomit.

    This is what we get to hear non stop about for the first few weeks of the new year.

  2. How convenient to order a media black out.=keeping the people in the ‘black out’ dark.
    When the NWO there decides to let the people have their NWO news turned back on, they’ll have the paid actor testimonies, on camera.
    Of course whoever is or are the patsies will be named but dead by suicide.
    Then following the script, media will go to the ‘terrorists’ apartment where the case is closed.
    This MO has become soooo repetitive that it’s become like some kind of ‘ground hog day’ show.
    Ever since 911, the NWO has been pushing Terror as the menu of everyday.
    If as stated that there were 17 thousand ‘police’ out and about, just how many were there at this big place? Wouldn’t the owners have some type of private security force?
    Since the USA/Israeli’s have their influence there, most likely everybody except the police were disarmed.
    Yet, I’m encouraged that Obummer stopped his golf game to let everyone know that ‘he’s on the balls’ so to speak to give validity to the story.

    Like the USA, USA, USA, chanting, we should expect Nut and Honey to go on TV to also let everybody know that He also as a Jew is appalled.

    He’ll say that’s why you need to send more money to him so he can continue to this kind of thing for real to the Palestinians.

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