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Monday, 2 January 2017

Turkish police are hunting a gunman who opened fire at an Istanbul nightclub during new year celebrations, killing at least 39 people and wounding nearly 70



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Hunt is on for gunman after 39 are killed in Istanbul nightclub massacre


Turkish police are hunting a gunman who opened fire at an Istanbul nightclub during new year celebrations, killing at least 39 people and wounding nearly 70 in what authorities said was a terror attack.
The attacker, wearing a Santa Claus hat at one point and armed with a long-barrelled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside the Reina club at around 1.15am. He then entered and fired on people inside, governor Vasip Sahin said.

Police hunt attacker after at least 39 killed in Istanbul massacre

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CCTV footage shows that the assailant wore a Santa Claus hat for part of the attack, which unfolded despite increased security measures.
The footage, obtained by AP from Haberturk newspaper, shows the male assailant dressed in black and carrying a rucksack as he shoots the police officer.
Footage taken by a different camera shows him inside the club in Istanbul’s Ortakoy area wearing different clothes and a Santa Claus hat.
People leave flowers for the victims outside a nightclub
People leave flowers for the victims outside a nightclub
Reina owner Mehmet Kocarslan, interviewed by Dogan news agency, said police had boosted security measures in the wealthy neighbourhood and its vicinity.
The measures included tents at key locations with a 24-hour police presence and complementary efforts by the coast guard at sea.
Turkish police officers block the road leading to the scene of the attack
Turkish police officers block the road leading to the scene of the attack
People leave flowers for the victims outside the nightclub
People leave flowers for the victims outside the nightclub
“Despite all these precautions by police forces, unfortunately this painful event took place. We don’t know what to say,” he added. “We are at the point where all words end.”
Three Lebanese citizens were wounded in the shooting, including the daughter of a member of parliament, Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry has said.
The ministry said via state media the three Lebanese were lightly wounded. It said they were the daughter of Estephan El Douaihy and two men.
An Israeli woman has also been identified as one of the victims. Israel’s foreign ministry said 18-year-old Leanne Nasser from the Israeli-Arab town of Tira was killed.
She was celebrating with three friends at the nightclub when the gunman broke in and opened fire. Her friend Ruaa Mansour, also 18, was moderately wounded and another two friends were unharmed.
Turkish interior minister Suleyman Soylu said the attacker, who has not been identified, is still at large, adding: “Our security forces have started the necessary operations. God willing he will be caught in a short period of time.”
Turkish police officers block the road leading to the scene of an attack in Istanbul
Turkish police officers block the road leading to the scene of an attack in Istanbul
Young people leave the scene of the attack in the early hours of Sunday
Young people leave the scene of the attack in the early hours of Sunday
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “I vehemently condemn the terror attack in Istanbul’s Ortakoy neighbourhood in the first hours of 2017.”
Offering his condolences for those who lost their lives, including “foreign guests”, Mr Erdogan added: “Turkey continues its combat against terror and is absolutely determined to do whatever is necessary in the region to ensure its citizens’ safety and peace.”
At least 15 of the dead were foreign nationals, Mr Soylu said. Five of the victims were identified as Turkish nationals while authorities were still trying to identify the rest.
A woman reacts next to an ambulance
A woman reacts next to an ambulance
At least 69 people were being treated in hospital, four in serious condition, Mr Soylu added. Three or four of the Turkish victims may have been employees at the nightclub, he said.
About 600 people were celebrating inside the club that is often frequented by famous locals, including singers, actors and sports stars.
“This was a massacre, a truly inhuman savagery,” Mr Soylu said.
The White House condemned what it called a “horrific terrorist attack” and offered US help to Turkey.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent Mr Erdogan a message, saying: “It is hard to imagine a more cynical crime than killing innocent people during new year celebrations. However, terrorists don’t share moral values. Our common duty is to combat terrorists’ aggression.”
German chancellor Angela Merkel sent her condolences to the victims, saying “terrorists … have carried out an inhumane and devious attack on people who wanted to celebrate the New Year together”.
“My thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families and friends,” she said.
British tourists have been warned to “remain vigilant” in Turkey. The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) said UK tourists should follow the advice of local authorities while remaining vigilant.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-4079532/British-tourists-alert-Turkey-nightclub-massacre.html#ixzz4UWsiNUWt
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