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ISIS claims Istanbul nightclub attack

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People leave as medics and security officials work at the scene after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul. (IHA via AP)
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Istanbul – ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Istanbul
shooting that killed 39 people and wounded scores of others.
The ISIS-linked
Aamaq News Agency said the New Year’s Eve attack was carried by a “heroic
soldier of the caliphate who attacked the most famous nightclub where
Christians were celebrating their pagan feast”.
It said
the man opened fire from an automatic
rifle in “revenge for God’s religion and in response to the orders”
of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The
group described Turkey as “the servant of the cross”.
Hurriyet
and Karar newspaper reported on Monday cited unnamed security
officials saying that authorities have determined that the gunman who killed 39
people comes from a Central Asian nation and is believed to be either from
Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan.
Police had
also established similarities with the high-casualty attack at Ataturk Airport
in June and was investigating whether the
same ISIS cell carried out both attacks.
The
gunman, who is still at large, killed a policeman and another man outside the
Reina club in the early hours of 2017 before firing at people partying inside.
Nearly
two-thirds of the dead were foreigners, many from the Middle East.
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