Gunman Opens Fire in Crowded Istanbul Nightclub

Breaking News: Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin announced that a gunman entered the busy Reina nightclub in Istanbul about 1:15 a.m. Istanbul local time Jan. 1, 2017 and began randomly shooting at party-goers, killing 35 people.

The gunman, who some reports have said was wearing a Santa Claus costume, first shot and killed a police officer and a civilian outside the nightclub, then entered with a gun and began shooting.

Thirty-five people were killed and another 40 wounded in the shooting rampage inside Reina in a crowd of party-goers numbering about 500 to 700 people. At least ten of those wounded are in critical condition.

Sahin, terming the shooting rampage as an act of terror, said, “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.”

Police and special forces responded to the emergency, sealing off the area in a two-mile radius around the scene of the shooting with the attacker believed to yet be inside Reina. Sahin did not name any group suspected to be behind the nightclub attack, nor has any group claimed responsibility.

The city had already been on high alert due to a number of terror attacks there in recent months. At this time, a media blackout has been ordered by the Turkish government under the auspices of security and public safety.

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