IS Group Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Nightclub Attack

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | January 2, 2017, Monday // 10:48
Bulgaria: IS Group Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Nightclub Attack File photo, EPA/BGNES

The Islamic State (IS) group says it carried out an attack that killed 39 and left dozens wounded during New Year celebrations in Istanbul.

In a statement quoted by international media, it says the raid was part of "the blessed operations that Islamic State is conducting against the protector of the cross, Turkey".

It adds "a heroic soldier of the caliphate struck one of the most famous nightclubs where the Christians celebrate their apostate holiday."

Among at least 25 foreign nationals killed in the atack, a majority were Arab Muslims, coming from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Lybia, Jordan, Iraq and elsewhere. Eleven of the dead were Turkish nationals and one was a Turkish-Belgium dual national.

Meanwhile, details emerge about the tragic shooting.

The BBC quotes Turkish media as saying the assailant fired up to 180 bullets.

Reportedly, he arried by taxi. His attack lasted seven minutes.

Up to 700 people were marking the New Year at the Reina nightclub at the time of the shooting, according to Hürriyet Daily News. 

Authorities say a massive manhunt is in place for the attacker.

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Tags: Islamic state, turkey, Istanbul, Reina, nightclub
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