Police in Turkey are struggling to find the New Year’s Eve nightclub gunman. Not long after midnight, a man entered a popular nightclub in Istanbul and opened fire, killing 39 people and wounding 70 more.
Around 600 people were in the club at the time of the attack and around two-thirds of people killed were foreign nationals. Many were from Middle East countries and Belgium to India has reported casualties.
So far no responsibility has been claimed for the attack and Turkish officials are yet to comment on a possible motive.
Among the dead were three Lebanese people, two Tunisian people, Two Jordanians, an Israeli, and victims from Belgium, Kuwaiti, and Canada.
One bystander, Mehmet Dag, 22, said he was passing by the club when he saw a man shoot a police officer and a civilian, and went on to shoot security guards. Mr Dag said, “Once he went in, we don’t know what happened. There were gun sounds, and after two minutes the sound of an explosion.”
According to media outlets in Turkey, local victims included a 22 year old police officer and a 47 year old travel agent, Ayhan Arik. He was taking tourists to the nightclub and was shot in the head.
The city’s morgue saw emotional scenes as relatives of the dead went to identify their loved ones, with many breaking down outside.
American citizens have been warned to keep their movements to a minimum, reminding them that extremists “are continuing aggressive efforts to conduct attacks in areas where U.S. citizens and expatriates reside or frequent.”
The U.S Embassy in Ankara put out a statement denying America knew the attack was going to happen as claimed by the Turkish press. It read, “Contrary to rumours circulating in social media, the U.S. Government had no information about threats to specific entertainment venues, including the Reina Club.”
Despite CCTV and forensic resources it would appear they are no closer to catching the killer.