IS claims Istanbul New Year massacre, attacker on the run
- 'Continue with determination' -The IS statement said the attack was in response to Turkey's military intervention against the jihadists in war-ravaged Syria where Turkish troops are pressing on with a four-month incursion to oust IS jihadists the border area. Turkey is also spearheading a ceasefire plan with Russia to form a basis for peace talks on Syria. But after a cabinet meeting in Ankara chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the government vowed that the operation in Syria, dubbed Euphrates Shield, would continue. "This was a message for our cross-border operations, above all the Euphrates Shield," said Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus. "We will carry on our cross-border operations and Euphrates Shield and with determination," he added. After a lightning successful start to the operation recapturing towns from IS including Jarabulus, the Turkish military has taken dozens of casualties as it tries to capture Al Bab where IS has put up a stronger fight to remain in control.
- 'Danger continues' -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. He then fired off four magazines containing a total of 120 bullets around the club which was filled with an estimated 700 people. Terrified guests flung themselves into the freezing waters of the Bosphorus in panic. But after changing clothes, the gunman left the nightclub in the ensuing chaos and has managed to evade security forces.
- 'Panicking and blood' -Twelve Turks were killed in the attack alongside 27 foreigners, including one Belgian-Turkish dual national. Sixty-five people were wounded. The foreigners who died -- most of them from Arab countries and including Muslims -- had come to the club to celebrate a special night in style. They included three Lebanese nationals, two Jordanians and three Iraqis, officials in their respective countries said. At least one German was killed. A Canadian woman, a Russian woman and a teenage Arab Israeli were also among the dead. Turkish press reports said at least seven Saudi nationals died but this has yet to be confirmed by Riyadh. Indian film producer Abis Rizvi, son of a former MP, was also among those killed, prompting tributes from the Bollywood community. The attack evoked memories of the November 2015 carnage in Paris when IS jihadists unleashed a gun and bombing rampage on nightspots in the French capital, killing 130 people including 90 at the Bataclan concert hall. "I think back to those moments, I can't erase them from my memory," survivor Yusuf Kodat from Alsace in France told AFP as he returned to the scene of the attack by the Bosphorus. "The people panicking, the blood, the noise of the gunshots, the explosions. That's what I keep on thinking about," Kodat said.