At least 39 people were killed and another 50 or more wounded in a terrorist attack on a New Year’s Eve party in Istanbul.
Hundreds of people were gathered at a popular local nightclub when “Santa Claus” crashed the party.
The gunman, who was captured in CCTV footage, was dressed as Santa Claus. He indiscriminately opened fire into the large crowd.
Many of the scared partygoers ran out of the building and flung themselves into the Bosphorus strait. They had to be quickly rescued by first responders to prevent an even larger tragedy.
The assault on the Reina nightclub, one of the most popular in Istanbul, began with the murder of a police officer guarding the door.
The gunman then “brutally and violently attacked innocent people who came here to enjoy themselves,” said Istanbul Mayor Vasip Sahin.
It is the fourth major terrorist attack in Turkey in less than a month. And that follows a failed coup earlier in the year.
This string of incidents has many policy-makers concerned over the stability of Turkey, a key US ally in the region.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 1, 2017