At least 39 people have been killed and nearly 70 others have been injured after a gunman opened fire during New Year’s celebrations at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, local officials say. The attacker is still at large.
The incident began at around 1:30 a.m. local time on Sunday when a man walked down the street outside the Reina nightclub and shot several people near the entrance. The suspect then entered the venue and opened fire.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu later confirmed that at least 39 people were killed, including one police officer, and 69 others have been injured, some of them critically so. Among the dead are at least 16 foreigners, though their nationalities were not immediately released.
Reina is a popular venue in Istanbul and comprises a nightclub, a bar and a restaurant. As many as 800 people were inside the complex when the shooting began, causing panic and prompting dozens of people to jump into the cold water of the Bosphorus in an effort to escape the attack.
Even though initial reports suggested at least two or three shooters, Soylu later confirmed that the massacre is believed to have been carried out by a single gunman who may have used a costume to leave unnoticed. A manhunt has been launched.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s attack, but terrorism experts pointed to the Islamic State group (ISIS) as the likely perpetrator.
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