by Lauren Killgrove – Photo Editor
While most of the world was celebrating a New Year, an attack later claimed by ISIS had hit a popular Istanbul nightclub early on New Year’s Day. Inside the club, named Reina, 39 civilians were killed and 69 were injured after the club was attacked by a gunman. ISIS did not claim responsibility until the day after the incident. Witnesses claimed there were multiple armed attackers, who began to shoot in the club after shooting and killing an officer outside of the club.
Though the area was guarded heavily by police areas since Turkey has been victim to multiple terrorist attacks throughout the last year, the attackers had still gotten in the club. The attackers had fired 180 rounds of bullets in total, and had utilized flares to light up the nightclub.
One of the attackers had escaped the scene, and there was a search for the attacker for over two weeks until he was found. The attacker, Abdulkadir Masharipov, was caught inside of the city of Istanbul, which relieved those who were worried he had escaped the country. He had moved to Konya, Turkey early in 2016, and reached Istanbul in December of the same year. Masharipov was found with his four-year old son.
Majority of the victims came from different nationalities and were foreign. Some victims had been from countries such as Canada, Lebanon, India, and Tunisia. Reina is a popular club that has long held a reputation for providing good entertainment as well as aesthetic value that has attracted those of foreign countries to visit. The club overlooks the sea, which was an escape route for many party-goers in the shooting after they were ordered to exit.
“He entered the club and attacked innocent people were there to celebrate the new year.” Said Vasip Sahin, the governor of Istanbul. With ISIS attacking Reina, it has become the first terrorist attack of the new year.