The armed man who killed at least 39 people in an attack on Turkish nightclub- goers was dressed as Father Christmas, witnesses have said.
At least one gunman entered the upmarket Reina nightclub in Istanbul at around 1.30am local time on New Year's Day as hundreds of people were celebrating the start of 2017. The attacker is believed to have shot at police outside the nightclub, killing one officer, before entering and firing on people inside. Some customers jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus strait to escape the massacre. The attack resulted in 39 people dead, including 15 foreigners, which reportedly include nationals of Lebanon, Morocco, Libya and Saudi Arabia, and a further 40 injured, some described as "critical", according to Istanbul's governor, Vasip Sahin.
Turkish media released CCTV footage appearing to show one of the men suspected of launching the attack inside the club, wearing a Santa costume. It is not clear what purpose the outfit served or any of the other motives behind the attack.
Mr Sahin described the shooting as a terrorist attack without making any comment on who might have carried it out. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
"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," Mr Sahin said.
Despite there being no official statement about who might be behind this brutal attack, the finger of blame is being pointed at the so-called Islamic State.
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