Attackers Open Fire at Nightclub in Istanbul

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Attackers dressed in Santa Claus suits opened fire inside a packed Istanbul nightclub shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day, killing at least 35 people and wounding dozens more, Turkish officials said.

Gov. Vasip Sahin of Istanbul Provincec called it a terrorist attack.

The attack occurred about 1:15 a.m. in the Reina nightclub, which was packed with as many as 600 people celebrating New Year’s when the attack occurred, officials said.

Governor Sahin said the attackers — initial reports said there were as many as three — fired on the police before heading inside the club.

“One person first kills the police officer outside, and then a civilian,” the governor said. “Inside he rained bullets brutally, mercilessly over innocent people who were there just to celebrate the new year and have fun.”

NTV posted photos on Twitter of a large police presence outside the club.

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