39 dead, many wounded, ISIS attack Istanbul’s Reina night club, Turkey

Breaking News: A night nightclub Istanbul is subject to an armed attack, local media reported.

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The Islamic State group on Monday claimed responsibility for the New Year’s attack at a popular Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people and wounded scores of others.

The IS-linked Aamaq News Agency said the attack was carried by a “heroic soldier of the caliphate who attacked the most famous nightclub where Christians were celebrating their pagan feast.”

It said the man opened fire from an automatic rifle and also detonated hand grenades in “revenge for God’s religion and in response to the orders” of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The group described Turkey as “the servant of the cross” and also suggested it was in retaliation for Turkish military offensives against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

“We let infidel Turkey know that the blood of Muslims that is being shed by its airstrikes and artillery shelling will turn into fire on its territories,” the statement said.

Earlier, Turkish media reports had said that Turkish authorities believed the IS group was behind the attack and that the gunman, who is still at large, comes from a Central Asian nation and is likely to be either from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan.

According to Hurriyet and Karar newspapers, police had also established similarities with the high-casualty suicide bomb and gun attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport in June and was investigating whether the same IS cell could have carried out both attacks.

The gunman killed a policeman and another man outside the Reina club in the early hours of 2017 before entering and firing at an estimated 600 people partying inside with an automatic rifle.

Nearly two-thirds of the dead in the upscale club, which is frequented by local celebrities, were foreigners, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency said. Many of them hailed from the Middle East.

Citing Justice Ministry officials, Anadolu reported that 38 of the 39 dead have been identified and 11 of them were Turkish nationals, and one was a Turkish-Belgian dual citizen.

The report says seven victims were from Saudi Arabia; three each were from Lebanon and Iraq; two each were from Tunisia, India, Morocco and Jordan. Kuwait, Canada, Israel, Syria and Russia each lost one citizen.

Relatives of the victims and embassy personal were seen walking into an Istanbul morgue to claim the bodies of the deceased.

Turkish officials haven’t released the names of those identified.

The mass shooting followed more than 30 violent acts over the past year in Turkey, which is a member of the NATO alliance and a partner in the U.S.-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

The country endured multiple bombings in 2016, including three in Istanbul alone that authorities blamed on IS, a failed coup attempt in July and renewed conflict with Kurdish rebels in the southeast.

The Islamic State group claims to have cells in the country. Analysts think it was behind suicide bombings last January and March that targeted tourists on Istanbul’s iconic Istiklal Street as well as the attack at Ataturk Airport in June, which killed 45 people.

In August, Turkey sent troops and tanks into northern Syria, to clear a border area from the IS and also curb the territorial advances of Syrian Kurdish forces in the region. The incursion followed an IS suicide attack on an outdoor wedding party in the city of Gaziantep, near the border with Syria, that killed more than 50 people.

In December, IS released a video purportedly showing the killing of two Turkish soldiers and urged its supporters to “conquer” Istanbul. Turkey’s jets regularly bomb the group in the northern Syrian town of Al-Bab. Turkish authorities haven’t confirmed the authenticity of the video.

Last week, Turkey and Russia brokered a cease-fire for Syria that excludes the IS and other groups considered to be terrorist organizations.

On Monday, Anadolu said more than 100 Islamic State targets in Syria have been hit by Turkey and Russia in separate operations.

Citing the Turkish Chief of General Staff’s office, Anadolu said Turkish jets struck eight IS group targets while tanks and artillery fired upon 103 targets near Al Bab, killing 22 extremists while destroying many structures. The Russian jets also attacked IS targets in Dayr Kak, eight kilometers (five miles) to the southwest of Al Bab.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the attacker left a gun at the club and escaped by “taking advantage of the chaos” that ensued. Some customers reportedly jumped into the waters of the Bosporus to escape the attack.

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Update at 5:28 AM

ISTANBUL – Istanbul attack kills 39, including 16 foreigners, at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations: interior minister says. 

Vasip Sahin said some 40 other people were wounded in the assault in the early hours of Sunday.

Sahin said the incident was a “terror attack” without saying who may have carried it out.

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Istanbul’s governor says at least 35 people were killed in the attack at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations.

Vasip Sahin said some 40 other people were wounded in the assault in the early hours of Sunday.

Sahin said the incident was a “terror attack” without saying who may have carried it out.

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A night nightclub in Istanbul has been attacked, local media reported.

A turkey TV channel has shown a footage of armoured police vehicleson street outside of the nightclub, many people were injured according to reports.

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‘Many’ people wounded in an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey’s NTV reports.

Footage appears to show a number of ambulances and police vehicles outside the Reina nightclub, in the Besiktas area of the city.

NTV says two attackers were involved, with CNN Turk reported they were dressed in Santa costumes.

Istanbul had been on high alert for any terror attacks, with some 17,000 police officers on duty in the city.

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Turkish media say at least two people are dead and several others are wounded in an armed attack on a night club in Turkey’s Istanbul.
According to reports, two gunmen were involved in the attack that happened in Reina night club in the early hours of Sunday. 

Turkey has seen attacks on a host of targets over the past year and a half. Most of the bombing attacks have been blamed on the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other Kurdish groups. 

On December 10, 44 people, mostly policemen, were killed and over 150 more injured in a twin bomb attack, during the second of which a bomber detonated his explosive belt as police arrived to surround him.

The Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was killed during the opening of a photo exhibition at a gallery in the Turkish capital Ankara on December 19.

The assassin, off-duty policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas was shot dead at the scene by police.

In June, at least 41 people were killed and some 240 more injured in a Daesh attack at Istanbul’s main Ataturk Airport.

Turkey has also so been under a state of emergency since a failed military coup against the government in mid-July.

Ankara has launched a heavy-handed crackdown against those suspected of having links with the coup plotters.

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