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Istanbul governor: 35 dead in 'terror attack' on nightclub

11 months 1 week 4 days ago Saturday, December 31 2016 Dec 31, 2016 December 31, 2016 6:32 PM December 31, 2016 in News
Source: Associated Press

ISTANBUL - Turkey's state-run news agency says an armed assailant has opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations, wounding several people.

The Anadolu Agency said the attack occurred in Istanbul's Ortakoy district.

Istanbul's governor says at least 35 people were killed in the attack at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations.

Vasip Sahin said some 40 other people were wounded in the assault in the early hours of Sunday.

Sahin said the incident was a "terror attack" without saying who may have carried it out.

The Anadolu Agency said the attack occurred in Istanbul's Ortakoy district.

Footage from the scene showed at least six ambulances with flashing lights and civilians being escorted out. Media reports said police have cordoned off the area and an operation is ongoing.

Eyewitness Sinem Uyanik told the Associated Press she saw several bodies inside the Istanbul nightclub.

Her husband Lutfu Uyanik was wounded in the attack. "Before I could understand what was happening, my husband fell on top me," she said outside Istanbul's Sisli Hospital. "I had to lift several bodies from on top of me before I could get out."

Her husband was not in serious condition despite his wounds.

The White House is condemning what it calls a "horrific terrorist attack" in Istanbul and offering U.S. help to Turkey.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz says Obama was briefed on the attack by his national security team and asked to be updated as the situation develops. Obama is vacationing in Hawaii this week with his family.

White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price says the attack on "innocent revelers" celebrating New Year's shows the attackers' savagery. He says the U.S. sends thoughts and prayers to the relatives of those killed.

Price says the U.S. supports its NATO ally Turkey as both countries fight terrorism.

The assailant is believed to have been dressed as Santa Claus when he killed 35 people and wounded 40 more at an Istanbul nightclub.

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