Authorities search for assailant behind Istanbul nightclub attack
Authorities searched Sunday for a gunman who opened fire at a packed nightclub during New Year's celebrations in Istanbul, killing at least 39 people and injuring 69.
  1. More than 500 people were inside the Reina club when what authorities described as a terrorist attack began about 1:15 a.m. Some patrons jumped into the Bosphorus Strait to escape.
    "Unfortunately, (he) rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year's and have fun," Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin told reporters.
    A closed-circuit television recording of the attack showed the assailant wearing a Santa Claus hat for part of the attack, according to The Associated Press, which obtained the recording from Haberturk newspaper. The video shows the attacker dressed in black and carrying a backpack as he shoots a police officer outside the club.
    But Turkey’s prime minister disputed news reports claiming the gunman wore a Santa Claus outfit.
    “There is no truth to this,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters Sunday after visiting the wounded in a hospital. “He is an armed terrorist as we know it.”
    The attacker left a gun inside the venue and escaped by “taking advantage of the chaos” that ensued, Yildrim said.
    Three of the wounded remain in critical condition, he said.
    The United States denied reports Sunday in Turkish new outlets that security agencies knew in advance that a nightclub in Istanbul was at risk of a terror attack.
    The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said in a statement that “contrary to rumors circulating in social media, the U.S. Government had no information about threats to specific entertainment venues, including the Reina Club.”
    The embassy issued a general “holiday season threat warning” on Dec. 22 for Turkey and various parts of Europe, “as we do whenever there are indications that American citizens might be targeted or subjected to violence.”
  2. Nobody immediately claimed credit for the attack, which Turkish authorities said was carried out by a lone assailant. But President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the country is "extremely determined to do whatever it takes" after recent terror attacks to secure the region.
    "Those aiming at the peace of our nation, and their pawns, are working to destabilize our country and trigger chaos by demoralizing our people through their heinous attacks that also target civilians," Erdogan said. "We are aware that these attacks, carried out by various terror organizations against our country, are not independent from incidents happening in our region. We are determined to eradicate threats and attacks against our country at their source."
    Turkish security forces have been on high alert in recent weeks. On Dec. 20, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was killed while attending an art exhibition
  3. Reina owner Mehmet Kocarslan, told the private Dogan news agency, that police had boosted security measures in the upscale neighborhood of Ortakoy and its vicinity. The efforts included a 24-hour police presence and complementary efforts by the coast guard at sea.
    “Despite all these precautions by police forces, unfortunately this painful event took place,” he said. “We are at the point where all words end.”
    State-run Anadolu news agency reported Sunday that a 22-year-old police officer, Burak Yildiz, was shot and killed outside the Reina nightclub. A female security guard, Hatice Karcilar, 29, was also among those killed, according to Anadolu.
    Sahin said the attacker used a long-barreled weapon, but he gave no other details about the device.
  4. At least 15 of the dead were foreign nationals, Soylu said. He did not identify their nationalities. Five of the victims were identified as Turkish nationals. Authorities were trying to identify the rest.
    Turkey’s Minister of Family and Social Policies, Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, told reporters outside a hospital that foreigners are among the wounded.
    “There are many different nationalities, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Libya and citizens of other nations,” Kaya said.
    Erdogan condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to victims of the attack in a series of tweets
  5. The White House issued a statement condemning the attack.
    "That such an atrocity could be perpetrated upon innocent revelers, many of whom were celebrating New Year's Eve, underscores the savagery of the attackers. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed, and a speedy recovery to the wounded," the statement read.
    Because of heightened security operations, the U.S. consulate in Istanbul warned U.S. citizens to limit their movement around Istanbul "to an absolute minimum" as extremist groups target where expatriates live or visit such as restaurants or places of worship.
    "We strongly urge U.S. citizens in Istanbul to directly contact concerned family members in the United States to advise them of your safety and to update loved ones on your welfare and whereabouts throughout this situation and any others that may occur," the consulate said in a statement.
    Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on Sunday lamented the attack on what he called a “night of good-wishes and hope.”
    “Deeply saddened, I express my closeness to the Turkish people, I pray for the many victims and the injured and for the whole nation in mourning, and I ask the Lord to support all people of good will who courageously roll up their sleeves to face the plague of terrorism and the bloody stain that envelops the world with a shadow of fear and bewilderment," Francis said, in a departure from his prepared text.
    Footage from the scene outside the Reina nightclub showed at least six ambulances with flashing lights and civilians being escorted out. NTV said police had cordoned off the area and an operation to capture the assailant was ongoing.
    “Before I could understand what was happening, my husband fell on top me,” Sinem Uyanik said outside Istanbul’s Sisli Etfal Hospital where she waited to see her husband wounded in the attack. “I had to lift several bodies from top of me before I could get out. It was frightening.”
Authorities search for assailant behind Istanbul nightclub attack Authorities search for assailant behind Istanbul nightclub attack Reviewed by Usa Tv on January 01, 2017 Rating: 5

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