In pics: Celebrations turn into night of terror as gunman attacks Istanbul club | world-news | Hindustan Times
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In pics: Celebrations turn into night of terror as gunman attacks Istanbul club

A gunman shot his way into an Istanbul nightclub packed with New Year’s revellers early on Sunday, killing at least 35 people and wounding more than 40 in what the provincial governor described as a terrorist attack.

world Updated: Jan 01, 2017 10:46 IST
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.(AP Photo)

A gunman shot his way into an Istanbul nightclubpacked with New Year’s revellers early on Sunday, killing at least 39 people and wounding more than 40 in what the provincial governor described as a terrorist attack.

The assailant shot a police officer and a civilian as he entered the Reina nightclub before opening fire at random inside. The club lies on the shore of the Bosphorus Strait in the Ortakoy district of Turkey’s most populous city.

“A terrorist with a long-range weapon ... brutally and savagely carried out this incident by firing bullets on innocent people who were there solely to celebrate the New Year and have fun,” Sahin told reporters at the scene.

Ambulances rushing away from the scene of an attack in Istanbul. (AP Photo)
People leave as medics and security officials work at the scene after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul. (AP Photo)

Around 500-600 people were thought to have been in the club when the attack happened at around 1.15 am (2230 GMT), broadcaster CNN Turk said. Some jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus to save themselves and were being rescued by police.

People flee from a nightclub where a gun attack took place during a New Year party in Istanbul. (REUTERS)
Police secure area near an Istanbul nightclub, Turkey. (REUTERS)

Dozens of ambulances and police vehicles were dispatched to the club in Ortakoy, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood nestled under one of three bridges crossing the Bosphorus, and home to clubs, restaurants and art galleries.

First aid officers carry an injured woman at the site of an armed attack in Istanbul. (AFP Photo)
Police secure an area near an Istanbul nightclub, following a gun attack, Turkey. (REUTERS)

Reina is one of Istanbul’s best-known nightclubs, popular with locals and tourists alike.

Turkey, part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State, faces multiple security threats including spillover from the war in neighbouring Syria. It has seen repeated attacks and bombings blamed on Islamic State as well as Kurdish militants in recent months.