A gunman reportedly dressed in a Santa costume has killed at least 39 people, including 16 foreigners , at a famous nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’ s Eve celebrations .
Armed with a long- barrelled weapon , the attacker shot a police officer before storming the elite Reina club in the Ortakoy area of the city at about 1 .45 am .
“ Unfortunately (he ) rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’ s and have fun , ” Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said , describing the carnage as a “ terror attack”.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the gunman was still at large . “ The search for the terrorist continues… Our security forces have started the necessary operations . God willing he will be caught in a short period of time.”Raising the death toll to 39 , Mr Soylu said that of 21 victims who had been identified so far , 16 were foreigners and five were Turks. Another 69 people were being treated in hospital for their wounds.