Turkey hunts for nightclub attacker, ISIL link seen

With the majority of those killed in Sunday's attack foreigners, families were due to reclaim the bodies of over two dozen non-Turkish nationals killed in the gun attack.

Turkey hunts for nightclub attacker, ISIL link seen

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey was on Monday hunting the gunman who opened fire inside a glamorous Istanbul nightclub on New Year's night killing 39 people, as investigators reportedly probed his possible ties to Islamic State group. 

The attack, which unleashed scenes of carnage and panic among party-goers at one of Istanbul's swankiest venues, took place just 75 minutes into 2017 after a bloody year in which hundreds were killed in violence blamed on both jihadists and Kurdish militants.

Arriving by taxi at the plush Reina nightclub on the shores of the Bosphorus, the gunman produced a weapon, reportedly a Kalashnikov, and shot dead a policeman and civilian at the entrance.

According to the Hurriyet daily, the gunman then fired four magazines containing a total of 120 bullets around the club, as terrified guests flung themselves into the freezing waters of the Bosphorus in panic.

But after changing clothes, the gunman left the nightclub and has managed to evade the security forces.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Sunday that intense efforts were under way to find the gunman, and expressed hope that the suspect would be captured soon.

Late on Sunday, police rushed to the city's Kurucesme district after a tip-off but the operation did not produce any arrest. 

"The danger continues," wrote columnist Abdulkadir Selvi in Hurriyet. 

"So long as this terrorist is not seized we do not know when and where a massacre could take place."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Ocak 2017, 12:37