At least 36 people were killed in an attack at the Reina nightclub in Turkey early on Sunday, authorities say.

Dozens were also injured by the attacker who entered the popular club and started raving through the crowd, H?rriyet Daily News quotes Istanbul Governor Vasip ?ahin as saying.

Sixteen of the victims are said to be foreign nationals.

The development unfolded early into New Year celebrations, before 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT). CNN T?rk reports the man who entered the club was wearing a Santa Claus costume.

Between 50 and 60 ambulances were deployed to the scene.

Reina, a famous nightclub located by the Bosphorus, is frequented by celebrities and, according to the BBC, is popular with foreigners. Hundreds of people are thought to have been incide at the time the attacker opened fire.

As with the previous attack on December 10, Turkey’s media watchdog announced a media blackout over security concerns.

2017’s first attack in Turkey added to a death toll of 275 victims and thousands wounded throughout 2016 in major bombings or shootings by the Islamic State (IS) group, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or its offshoots.

Arkan Aydemir, a former lawmaker, told the BBC over the phone the attack was a symbolic target against secular lifestyle and was “quite similar to the Paris attacks [on November 13, 2015].”

Source