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AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal
An ambulance rushes from the scene of an attack in Istanbul, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.

Gunmen opened fire on New Year’s Eve celebrations in an Istanbul nightclub

Caitlin Hu
By Caitlin Hu


This is a developing story. 

Turkish police are still hunting for a man who attacked a popular Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s eve, killing at least 35 people and injuring more than 70.

Several hundred New Year’s celebrants had been packed inside the popular club Reina, according to local media, when the attack began around 1:30am. Early reports described the attacker as dressed in a Santa costume.

Police and ambulances gathered outside the club, which is located in the Ortakoy district on the European side of the city. According to local newspaper Hurriyet, Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) banned further broadcasts about the Jan. 1 attack after Sahin’s statement.

Turkey has been troubled by terror threats and attacks throughout the past year, including the assassination of a Russian diplomat in December and suicide attacks at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in June. An ISIL-linked media group recently urged followers to attack Western clubs, markets, and movie theaters over the holidays, singling out Turkey in garbled English:  “Turn their happiness and joy into grieves, and their feasts into funerals.”

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