ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terror attack which killed 39 people and injured 69 in a prominent Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s eve.
“In continuation of the blessed operations that Islamic State is conducting against the protector of the cross, Turkey, a heroic soldier of the caliphate struck one of the most famous nightclubs where the Christians celebrate their apostate holiday,” said ISIS in a statement on Monday.
A manhunt is still underway. The assailant’s identity has not yet been revealed by Turkish authorities, although footage of his entrance into the Reina nightclub has emerged.
The gunman, who is believed to have perpetrated the raid single-handedly, stormed into the Reina nightclub, which is located on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul’s upscale Ortakoy district, just after 1 a.m and sprayed bullets into the crowd. An estimated 600 people were inside the nightclub, according to media reports.
At least 25 of the victims were foreign. Among them were people from Israel, Russia, France, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, according to news reports. Among the 69 wounded, three are in critical conditions.