Tragedy struck the Reina nightclub in Istanbul just one to two hours after the New Year’s Eve countdown after a gunman dressed up as Santa Claus had walked in and killed over 39 people according to the latest reports, and about 69 others were hospitalized.
From the 39 killed, 15 of them had been identified as foreigners, and Suleyman Soylu claims that this gunman may have been a lone wolf, and a hunt for him is currently underway.
Four of the 69 that are hospitalized are said to be in a severely critical state, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remarked on this incident by saying that those who are responsible for this tragedy are attempting to create distress and instability.
No One Spared
Mr. Erdogan vowed that he will persist in the fight against terrorism, and Mr. Soylu stated that the authorities launched a massive man hunt and hopefully the gunman will be taken into custody sometime soon.
Three of those killed worked at the Reina nightclub, and Israel has identified one of their own citizens as Leane Nasser, 19, to be amongst the 39 victims as well.
New Year’s Massacre
“This was a massacre, a truly inhuman savagery,” Mr.Soylu remarked.
Conflicting reports about the gunman’s outfit have been stated, as it was said he had been dressed up as Santa Claus, whilst footage from CCTV had revealed that he was dressed in a black coat and trousers.
Vasip Sahin, the Governor of Istanbul, says that in addition to the victims of the gunman, a police officer and another random civilian who had been outside the Reina nightclub were also shot and killed, prior to entering the nightclub and continuing in his onslaught.
Reports say that around 700 people were present at the nightclub at the time of the shooting, and several resorted to jumping into the water in order to flee to safety.