During New Year's celebration 39 people, including many foreigners were killed by a gunman reportedly dressed a Santa Claus costume open fired on the night club of Istanbul. Wounding close to 70 people and province's governor described it as a terrorist attack.
Gov. Vasip Sahin said that the attacker armed with a long-barreled weapon and he killed a policeman and a civilian outside the club around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. He was entering and firing on people partying inside. Sahin told to reports that -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.
Interior minister Suleyman Soylu said the attacker escaped, security forces started their operation already and adding efforts to catch him as soon as possible. Around 16 people of the dead were foreign nationals and without providing information on their nationalities.
Again five victims were identified as Turkish nationals while authorities were still trying to identify 18 of the victims. At least 69 people were hospitalized four in serious condition. Some people jumped into the waters of the Bosporus to escape the attack, according to report.
Police with riot gear and machine guns backed up by armored vehicles blocked the area close to the Reina nightclub, one of the most popular night spots in Istanbul. Ambulance flashing their blue lights arrived on the spot and taking wounded to hospital.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said President Barack Obama was briefed on the attack by his national security team asked for an update the situation developed. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said the attack on innocent revelers celebrating New Year's shows the attackers' savagery.
Around 600 people were celebrating New Year's event inside the club that is also frequented by famous locals, including singers, actors, and sports stars. This is not the first time; the country has been rocked by a series of deadly attacks in 2016 carried out by the Islamic State group or Kurdish militants, killing more than 180 people.