35 people are dead after a gunman opened fire at a popular nightclub in Turkey. The perpetrator was reported to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume at the time, and had opened fire on the outside of the club before continuing inside, shooting a club goer and a police officer as he entered.

 

Istanbul, as well as Ankara, have both been targets for terror attacks by the Islamic State. The identity of the gunman has not been released yet, or the status. 

 

Updates will be added as they come along.

 

UPDATE: Vocal Europe is reporting that ISIS was behind the attack, claiming responsibility. 

 

 

Below is footage of the gunman in the Santa suit. 

 

BREAKING | First footage of attacker wearing Santa Claus killing many in #Istanbul. pic.twitter.com/ohzOmR6I6T

— Vocal Europe (@thevocaleurope) December 31, 2016

 

 

UPDATE: Reports of a second gunman have come up in the incident, and reports say both wore Santa suits, opening fire at approximately 2 A.M local time. 

 

UPDATES: Victim count rises to 39- 24 men and 15 women were identified. 69 are injured so far, including one American. “Allahu Akbar” was reported to have been heard during the shooting. A manhunt is underway for the suspects.  Foreigners were amongst those killed, including club goers from Libya, Lebanon, Israel, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. 11 were Turkish nationals. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim released a statement, saying:  

 

There is strong coordination and we will find him, no delay. We are face to face with a terror attack. The efforts to locate the terrorist are ongoing. Security forces have begun the necessary operations. God willing soon the attacker will be apprehended.
 
 
 Other high-ranking officials offered their condolences, including Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis and more. This is recorded to be the first terrorist attack of 2017.
 
 
UPDATE: A selfie video showing the gunman has been found, though it is a short clip. It can be watched here.
 
Here are some stills from the clip, giving the viewer a clear view of the shooter’s face. 
 
https://twitter.com/TerrorEvents/status/816014504559575044
 
 

 

 

 

 

The gunman has also been identified according to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavusoglu, but no information regarding that has been released yet. In the meantime, a total of 21 people were arrested in Izmir, including 5 ISIS members, who authorities believe all are connected to the attack. Authorities claim the style of attack as well as the shooter’s getaway points to the perpetrator being aided. A manhunt is still underway for this shooter.

 

Update: Police recently identified the shooter as Abdulkadir Masharipov. He is still on the run.

 

 

MAJOR UPDATE: Shooter responsible for the Reina nightclub massacre has been arrested.