Istanbul: A massive manhunt is going on for the terrorist who killed 39 people in the nightclub Reina early on Sunday before managing to escape in the ensuing chaos.
Turkey’s interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, said that police are hunting for one terrorist after the attacker opened fire in the night spot in Ortakoy neighbourhood at around 1:15 am on Sunday.
Armed with a long-barreled weapon the attacker is said to have killed a policeman and a civilian before entering Reina where a New Year’s party was going on.
Reina is one of Istanbul’s best known nightclubs popular both with locals and tourists. During the attack some people jumped into the waters of the Bosphorous, which run next to the nightclub, to save themselves.
A CCTV footage has emerged showing the moment when the masked terrorist attacked the nightclub in Istanbul. The footage appears to show a customer being shot inside the club, before the gunman shows up and flees.
There were 15 foreigners among the dead including 2 Indians. The victims were Mr Abis Rizvi son of former Rajya Sabha MP and Ms. Khusi Shah. Rizvi was CEO of Rizvi Builders and had produced a number of films too.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack was staged to create chaos in Turkey. The Ortakoy neighborhood, where the club was located, is home to various nightclubs, restaurants, and art galleries.
While no group has as yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, it is believed to have been done by supporters of the Islamic State.
The Kurdish fighters of the PKK are known to target mostly members of Turkey’s security forces rather than civilians. They have denied their involvement in the attack.