Thirty-nine people lost their lives in Istanbul as a terrorist began shooting at random in a Turkish nightclub just minutes into the New Year.
As European countries laid on unprecedented levels of security following threats that ISIS/Daesh were aiming to create a bloodbath to welcome 2017, it was Istanbul which was once more bore the brunt of the terror attack. As well as the 39 people killed, it is reported that 69 people were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.
Revellers were partying at Istanbul’s upmarket Reina nightclub when bullets began flying. At first it was thought that there had been two gunmen, but later reports suggested there had only been one, who may have been wearing a Santa Claus costume. Following the attack, he appears to have removed the costume and, in normal clothes, made his escape.
The nightclub was frequented by wealthy locals and by tourists and it is thought that there were some 700 people in the venue at the time of the attack. So far, only around two thirds of those killed have been identified and it appears that both party goers and staff at the nightclub are among the dead. Initial findings suggest that over a dozen of the deceased were foreigners. Some of those who survived did so because they were protected from the shots by the bodies of those who had been shot dead and who fell on top of them. Others escaped by jumping from the riverbank club into the Bosphorus river which runs through the middle of the city.