At least 39 people, including 15 foreigners, were killed and 65 others injured in an attack on a famous night club of Istanbul where hundreds of people were celebrating the new year’s eve, in the night from Saturday to Sunday. At 1: 15 a.m. Sunday, an assailant armed with an assault rifle popped up in front of the nightclub Reina, in the heart of Istanbul, and opened fire on people who were in front of the entrance, according to the governor of Istanbul Vasip Sahin. A manhunt was underway Sunday to find the suspect still on the run.
After entering the nightclub, the attacker fired randomly into the crowd. “A wild and ruthless, he has shot people who were just coming to celebrate the new year,” said the Interior minister Süleyman Soylu. According to the news channel NTV, several people have plunged into the Bosphorus to escape the gunfire.
Three French wounded
Among the tourists present at the time of the attack, at least three frenchmen were wounded, announced on Sunday by the French minister of foreign Affairs Jean-Marc Ayrault. “We are in contact with the Turkish authorities who are in the process of body identification. At this stage, we have suffered three wounded, of French nationality, “the minister stressed in a press release that” condemns the cowardly and heinous attack “. The president of the Republic François Hollande has also condemned on Sunday the attack “with force and indignation,” and expressed its “solidarity with Turkey in this difficult time,” according to a statement released by the Elysée.
Wholeheartedly with the Turkey terribly struck by this symbolic night
— Jean-Marc Ayrault (@jeanmarcayrault) 1 January 2017
Twenty of the 39 victims have already been identified, and among them 15 foreign and 5 of turkey, said the minister of the Interior. Among the 65 injured, 4 were seriously wounded. The nationalities of the foreign victims have not been identified in the immediate by the Turkish authorities. The Belgium has announced that a belgian national at least would have been killed. Nationals of several arab countries, saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon and Libya, are among the 39 deaths, said on Sunday the Turkish minister of the Family, Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, without giving the exact figure for each country.
One Israeli woman was injured and another is missing, had already announced that an israeli spokesman. “One Israeli woman was injured and hospitalized, but his days are not in danger, while there has been no news of a second Israeli who was in the nightclub at the time of the attack “, said the Agency France-Presse, the spokesman of the israeli ministry of foreign Affairs.
“The search for the terrorist are underway. I hope that he will be quickly caught, “said Sunday morning the Turkish minister of the Interior Süleyman Soylu, speaking of a” terrorist attack “. According to him, the first elements of the investigation revealed that the assailant had hidden the gun he used to commit the carnage under a coat and has left the premises wearing different outfits. The Turkish media had initially reported” at least one ” shooter disguised as Father Christmas. Witnesses quoted by the news agency Dogan has reported to have heard express themselves in Arabic, but this has not been confirmed by the authorities.
The Reina is an iconic night club of Istanbul, located in Ortaköy, a neighbourhood in the district of Besiktas, on the european side of the city. According to Dogan, it hosted at least 700 people came to celebrate the transition to the new year. The Reina nightclub posh, where the inputs are filtered, is located a few hundred meters of the place where took place the official celebration of the new year, at the edge of the Bosphorus.
“Crime cynical “
The attack has not yet been claimed, but Turkey has been the target of numerous attacks attributed to the organization the islamic State or related to the rebellion separatist workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK), who have hit Istanbul and Ankara. However, after a year 2016 bloody, the Turkish authorities were on their guard in this day of new year’s eve and 17 000 police officers had been deployed in the city.
The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the shooting of the new year was to ” sow chaos in the country “. “They are working to destroy the morale of the country and wreak havoc, targeting civilians with such attacks and hate “, said the Turkish president in his first reaction to the mass shooting, according to a press release issued by the presidency.
The White House has condemned a “horrific” attack. “Such atrocities perpetrated on innocent people who had come for the most celebrate the new year underscore the savagery of the assailants,” said Ned Price, a spokesman for the national security Council. “It is difficult to imagine a crime more cynical as the killing of civilians during the celebration of the new year. We all have the duty to combat with determination the terrorist aggression “, has also said Russian president Vladimir Putin in a message of condolences to Erdogan.
Member of the international coalition that is fighting against the EI in Syria and Iraq, Turkey has started in August an offensive in northern Syria to repel the jihadists towards the south, but also the militias of kurds in syria. The syrian rebels supported by the Turkish army laid siege for several weeks the city of Al-Bab, a stronghold of the ARS in the north of Syria. In response to these military operations, EI has repeatedly threatened attacks on Turkey, has become one of the main targets of the jihadists.