Saturday, December 31, 2016

35 Killed in Terror Attack on Famous Night Club in Central Istanbul
Hurriyet Daily News

An attacker killed at least 35 people, including a police officer, in a gun attack held on Reina, a popular night club in Istanbul, Governor Vasip Şahin said early on Jan. 1 live.

Dozens of people were also wounded in the attack that was carried out before 1:30 a.m., local broadcasters have reported.

Şahin said the attacker killed a police officer and a civilian at the gate of Reina by the Bosphorus, before entering inside and raving through the crowd celebrating the new year.

A reporter at the crime scene said live on CNNTurk that some 50 to 60 ambulances have been dispatched to the scene.

"The inglorious (attacker) raved through the place with Kalashnikovs. The U.S. intelligence warned over such an attack about one week or 10 days ago and measures have been taken, including the sea front. And look what has happened then," Mehmet Koçarslan told Hürriyet reporter Toygun Atilla adding that such an attack was coming, but could not be prevented.

Unconfirmed initial reports speculated that the attack was held by a person wearing Santa Claus costume.

Broadcasters also speculated that one attacker is still inside the club.

The governor did not respond to a question on whether the attacker was still inside or not.

Reina is one of the international night clubs in Istanbul frequented by the high-society, celebs, artists and football stars.

Some revelers had jumped into the water to escape the gunfire and were being rescued by police, NTV said.

According to a witness, there were up to 600 people in the night club.

Some 25,000 police officers have been on duty against a possible terror attack in Istanbul during the New Year's Day celebrations in the wake of consecutive bomb attacks across the country in 2016, which claimed hundreds of lives.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) also announced a gag order regarding the attack.

At least 275 people have been killed and thousands wounded in major bomb attacks across Turkey staged by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) over the course of 2016.

At least 41 people, seven of them civilians and 30 police officers, were killed, while 166 others were wounded when twin bombings struck outside Beşiktaş football club’s stadium in Istanbul.

In the bloodiest single attack in Turkey’s history, at least 109 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded in twin suicide bombings targeting a peace rally in Ankara on Oct. 10, 2015. The prime minister said ISIL was the suspect.

Turkey has been carrying out the Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria, backing the Syrian rebels against ISIL and the People’s Democratic Union (PYD), which Ankara says is linked to the PKK, for months.

Some 1,600 militants have been “neutralized” in the operation since its launch in August, the Turkish Armed Forces announced on Dec. 30.

The military uses the term “neutralized” referring to the killed, injured or captured militants.


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