NEW: Death toll from New Year's club shooting rises to 39
NEW: Interior Minister says that the attacker remains at large
The gunman shot a police officer guarding the club, an official says
The United States condemns the 'atrocity' and vows to work with Turkey
At least 39 people were killed and at least 69 wounded in an attack in a nightclub early Sunday as they were celebrating the new year, Turkey’s Interior Minister said.
“We are face to face with a terror attack,” Interior minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters.
Twenty-one of the dead have been identified, he said. Of those, 16 were foreign nationals and five were Turkish.
US officials also called it a terrorist attack, making it the first of 2017.
- The death toll from the Reina nightclub shooting has risen to 39
- The number of injured is at 69; “Four of them are in critical condition – one very critical,” says Interior Minister
- At least one gunman still on the run – it is unclear how many attackers were present
- No claim of responsibility has yet been made
- US, Turkish officials say incident is a terrorist attack
Soylu also said that “the efforts to locate the terrorist are ongoing. Security forces have begun the necessary operations. God willing soon (the attacker) will be apprehended.”
Around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, the gunman shot a police officer who was guarding the front gate at the Reina nightclub, killing him, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said.
“He entered the club and attacked innocent people who were there to celebrate the new year. It was a cruel, cold-blooded act,” the governor said.
There have been no claims of responsibility. The fate of the attacker – or attackers – was also unclear.