Police in Istanbul launched a manhunt on Sunday for a gunman who killed at least 39 people, many of them foreigners, at a nightclub packed with New Year’s revelers, in an attack officials described as a terrorist act.
The gunman shot his way into the Reina nightclub on early morning Sunday, just over an hour into the new year, killing a police officer and a civilian as he entered before opening fire at random inside.
Some witnesses spoke of multiple attackers, but officials have not confirmed this.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 15 or 16 of those killed were foreigners but that only 21 of the bodies had so far been identified.
He said 69 people were in hospital, four of them in a critical condition.
“A manhunt for the terrorist is underway. Police have launched operations. We hope the attacker will be captured soon,” he told reporters.
The attack again shook Turkey as it tries to recover from a failed July coup and a series of deadly bombings in cities including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, some blamed on Islamic State and others claimed by Kurdish militants. – Reuters