Hemera/Thinkstock(ISTANBUL) — At least 39 people have been killed and 69 others have been hospitalized in a New Year’s attack on Reina, a popular nightclub in Istanbul, according to Istanbul’s governor.
Hundreds of people were inside the nightclub after midnight local time when an attacker gained entry by killing a policeman and a civilian, Gov. Vasip Sahin said, who called the incident a terror attack, according to Turkish state media.
“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,” Sahin said according to BBC.
Some people reportedly jumped into the Bosporus to save themselves and police were working to get them out of the water.
It was not immediately clear if there was more than one attacker, but officials said a search was ongoing.
In a statement, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. strongly condemned the terror attack.
“We extend our condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and to the people of Turkey, as well as our hopes for the quick recovery for the wounded,” Toner said. “We will remain in close touch with Turkish authorities throughout the investigation.
“We stand in solidarity with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating the ongoing threat of terrorism. Sadly, this heinous attack is only the latest effort to kill and maim innocent civilians. These attacks only reinforce our strong determination to work with the Government of Turkey to counter the scourge of terrorism.”
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.