The gunman responsible for the Istanbul nightclub attack is still on the loose. And, now the death toll has reached 39. Most of the victims are foreign nationals. According to the most recent developments, the number of injured people has reached 69, including one US citizen.
According to the interior ministry, four people are under critical condition. At least 24 victims came from outside Turkey. Many of them are from neighboring Middle Eastern countries like Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. There are some from victims from Belgium and India as well. CCTV footage of the Reina club revealed that the gunman was wearing a Santa Claus hat. He opened fire at around 1:15 a.m. while there were more than 500 people were present in the club.
While Turkish authorities have already called it a terrorist attack, no extremist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The hunt is on for the gunman who is responsible for the attack. According to Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, authorities have already identified the suspect of the Istanbul nightclub attack, USA Today reported. “Our security forces have started the necessary operations. God willing, he will be caught in a short period of time,” he said.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 1, 2017
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered condolences to the victims. He called it a “terror attack,” while Soylu called it “inhumane savagery.” According to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, the authorities are soon going to catch the “armed terrorist.” “There is strong coordination and we will find him, no delay,” he said.
US officials have also called it a terror attack. CNN notes this happens to be the first reported terror attack of 2017. The attacker apparently took advantage of the chaos and managed to escape. This Istanbul nightclub attack takes place after another lone wolf attack killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey on Dec. 19. The attacker shouted slogans related to the Syrian civil war after fatally shooting the ambassador during a public event.
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