As people celebrated the arrival of 2017 in a Turkish nightclub, gunmen dressed as Santas walked in with long-barrelled weapons at around 1:15 local time and started shooting. This was after they shot a police officer and a female security guard.
At least 39 people are reported dead at the Reina club, a high-end establishment in Istanbul that’s a favourite hang-out for the city’s elite and foreign tourists. At least another 69 have been injured. Anywhere from 500 to 700 people were thought to be in the club at the time of the attack. At least one Canadian is reported among the dead.
Witnesses say a shooter shouted that the attack was revenge for Russian involvement in attacks on rebels in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Reports say that at least one gunman escaped and is still at large. (We’re not sure how many attackers there were. It could be just one.)
Although the club owner says the US passed on intelligence about the club being a target, the expectation seemed to be that any attack might come from the water side of the club.
This is the sixth soft-target attack in Turkey this year.
Meanwhile, two men were killed at a Meek Mill concert in Connecticut Friday night.