U.S. condemns terrorist attack on Istanbul nightclub

| Updated: Jan 01, 2017 23:42 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], Jan. 1 (ANI): The United States has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on a night club in Istanbul while extending condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and to the people of Turkey. "We will remain in close touch with Turkish authorities throughout the investigation," said U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner. "We stand in solidarity with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating the ongoing threat of terrorism. Sadly, this heinous attack is only the latest effort to kill and maim innocent civilians," he added. Toner said that these attacks only reinforce the strong determination of the U.S. to work with the Government of Turkey to counter the scourge of terrorism. At least 35 people were killed and 40 others injured in an armed attack at an Istanbul nightclub early Sunday. Governor Vasip Sahin described the attack in Ortakoy, Besiktas, as "cruel" and an "act of terror", reports Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu. "At 1.15 a.m., a terrorist carrying a long-barreled weapon martyred the police officer waiting outside, and then martyred another citizen to enter the club. He then carried out this violent and cruel act by spraying bullets on innocent people who were celebrating the New Year," Sahin said. The investigation is underway and the governor's office would provide further updates, he added. The attack comes three weeks after twin bombings in Istanbul killed at least 45 people, mostly police officers. According to a report by the Guardian, as many as 600 people were thought to have been in the club when the attack happened. Some people jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus to escape and were being rescued by police. Government officials have said there was one attacker and added that he has been killed. (ANI)