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Istanbul Reina nightclub attack 'leaves 35 dead'
January 1, 2017
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.
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.
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
US President Barack Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii, was among the first international
leaders toto 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.
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