Terror Attack At Istanbul Nightclub Leaves At Least 35 Dead And More Than 40 Wounded

Turkish Police were called to an Istanbul nightclub due to a terror attack.

Turkish Police were called to an Istanbul nightclub due to a terror attack.

Istanbul, Turkey –  At least 35 people were killed and 40 more wounded in a terror attack during New Year celebrations at a Istanbul nightclub Saturday night.

News sources are reporting that a gunman dressed in a Santa Clause costume began shooting at an Istanbul nightclub resulting in at least 35 deaths as of the publishing of this story. Provincial Gov. Vasip Sahin has described the incident to be a terror attack.

Vasip Sahin told reporters, “A terrorist with a long-range weapon brutally and savagely carried out this incident by firing bullets on innocent people who were there solely to celebrate the New Year and have fun.” Sahin said, “Unfortunately (he) rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’s and have fun.”

The Istanbul nightclub where the terror attack took place is named Reina, and is one of the cities most popular nightclubs. It was reported that 500-600 party-goers were celebrating the start of the new year when the terror attack occurred.

Prior to entering the Istanbul nightclub the terrorist attacker reportedly shot at a police officer, and several citizens. Many people inside the Istanbul nightclub were said to have jumped into the Bosphorus Strait waterway, next to the club, in an desperate attempt to save themselves from the gun fire of the terrorist attacker.

Multiple police vehicles and ambulances were dispatched to the Bosphorus Strait shoreline, in what’s referred to as the Ortakoy district.

Reauters put out the following statement in reference to the security measures taken by the 17,000 Istanbul police officers who were on duty at the time of the terror attack:

Security measures had been heightened in major Turkish cities, with police barring traffic leading up to key squares in Istanbul and the capital Ankara. In Istanbul, 17,000 police officers were put on duty, some camouflaged as Santa Claus and others as street vendors, state news agency Anadolu reported.

News sources reported that White House Press Spokesman, Eric Schultz, said that President Obama was on vacation with family in Hawaii, but he was briefed on the attack by the National Security Team. Later in the evening, President Obama expressed condolences to the victims, and offered U.S. help to the Turkish authorities.

The Associated Press’ Official Twitter account posted a posted tweet saying some WNBA players, including Essence Carson, Chelsea Gray and Jantel Lavender of the Los Angeles Sparks, were “next door” to the terror attack. According to the AP story, Sparks coach Brian Agler confirmed that Carson had texted him that the three players were OK. Reportedly there are about two dozen WNBA players are in Turkey during the off season playing for a Turkish league.

Essence Carson’s Twitter account posted the following tweet around the time the terror attack occurred.

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