39 killed in Istanbul nightclub attack

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — At least 39 people were killed and dozens wounded in an apparent terrorist attack on an Istanbul night club, where a man was seen firing into a crowd of revellers celebrating the new year.

One Israeli, an 18-year-old woman from the Arab-Israeli city of Tira, was moderately wounded in the attack, which occurred at around 1 a.m. Saturday at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortakoy neighborhood, Army Radio reported. Another woman, Lian Zaher Nasser, 19, also from Tira, is missing following the attack. Two other Israelis from Tira survived the incident unharmed.

A total of 15 of foreigners were among the ones killed in the attack, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Some revelers had jumped into the water to escape the gunfire and were being rescued by police, NTV said. One gunman shot and killed police officer at the entrance to the club, proceeding to fire indiscriminately on people inside the club using an AK-47 assault rifle, Istanbul police said.

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The whereabouts of shooters is not widely known and Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council announced a gag order regarding the attack. A manhunt is underway, according to some Turkush media.

Attacks of terrorist organizations “are not independently of incidents happening in our region,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said vowing to do whatever needed in the region in order to maintain security of Turkish citizens.

Turkey has struck several times various militias fighting in Syria, including Kurdish nationalists and Islamic State radicals.

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