Home World Europe News Istanbul New Year Attack: Manhunt Underway after 39 Killed at Reina Club

Istanbul New Year Attack: Manhunt Underway after 39 Killed at Reina Club


Turkish authorities are hunting for a gunman who opened fire at Istanbul’s well-known nightclub Reina, killing at least 39 people and injuring other 69.

The club attack happened on January 1, as hundreds of revelers marked the New Year.

According to Turkish officials, at least 15 foreigners were killed, including citizens from Israel, Belgium, Lebanon, Jordan, France, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The gunman left his gun before “taking advantage of the chaos” and fleeing the scene, Turkey’s PM Binali Yildirim said.

The prime minister also confirmed the gunman was not dressed as Santa Claus, contradicting earlier reports.

Image source European Pressphoto

The attack unfolded some 75 minutes into the New Year as around 700 people gathered in the waterside Reina club, one of Istanbul’s most upmarket venues.

The gunman shot dead a police officer and a security guard at the entrance before heading into the club, which is popular with celebrities and foreigners.

Eyewitnesses described seeing dozens of bodies lying on the floor. Some revelers reportedly threw themselves into the Bosphorus to escape the carnage.

At least 69 people are being treated in hospital, officials said, with four in a serious condition.

The attack reason is not clear, but suspicion has fallen on ISIS.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed terror groups “trying to create chaos”.

He said: “They are trying to… demoralize our people and destabilize our country.”

Earlier, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu confirmed a “manhunt for the terrorist is under way. Police have launched operations. We hope the attacker will be captured soon.”

Turkish police believed there was only one gunman, although some eyewitness reports mentioned multiple attackers.

Details of those who died are starting to emerge.

The security guard at the entrance to the club has been identified as Fatih Cakmak.

His brother said he narrowly escaped a double bombing three weeks ago, having been on duty when Kurdish militants launched an attack near Besiktas stadium, killing at least 44 people, mostly police.

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