At least 35 people were killed and 40 injured after a gunman opened fire inside a nightclub in Istanbul’s posh Ortakoy district, governor Vasip Sahin said.
The New Year’s Eve attack at the Reina nightclub started when a gunman shot at police officers near the entrance, then sprayed bullets “indiscriminately”, according to a security official. The shooter acted alone, Mr Sahin said.
Two local news channels said the attacker spoke Arabic, citing survivors. No group has claimed responsibility yet, but Turkey has seen killings in recent months that have been claimed by Kurdish militants and by Islamic State.
The nightclub is among the most popular in that part of Istanbul and was packed with hundreds of revellers when the attack began, the security official said.
The shooting caps one of the deadliest years in Turkey’s recent history, as at least 30 major terrorist attacks have killed hundreds of citizens and tourists. Small attacks have taken place near daily in the Kurdish south-east against police and security officials.
But the attacks have now circled in on Turkey’s largest city, its commercial and tourist hub. Forty-four people — mostly police officers — were killed three weeks ago near the Besiktas football stadium by twin suicide bombers acting on behalf of Kurdish militants.
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