ISIS claims one of its jihadists are behind the New Year’s Day terror attack on a Christian gathering in Istanbul.
(CAIRO, EGYPT) ISIS claimed responsibility on Monday for a New Year's Day mass shooting in a packed Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people, an attack carried out by a lone gunman who remains at large.
It described the Reina nightclub, where many foreigners as well as Turks were killed, as a gathering point for Christians celebrating their "apostate holiday". The attack, it said, was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.
"The apostate Turkish government should know that the blood of Muslims shed with airplanes and artillery fire will, with God's permission, ignite a fire in their own land," the Islamic State declaration said.
Around 600 people were thought to be inside when the gunman shot dead a policeman and civilian at the door, forcing his way in then opening fire with an automatic assault rifle. Witnesses said he shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest).
Some at the club jumped into the Bosphorus after the attacker began shooting at random just over an hour into the new year. Witnesses described diving under tables as he walked around spraying bullets.