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Saturday, December 31, 2016

At least 39 killed in New Year gun attack at Istanbul nightclub

https://www.facebook.com/ShamaJunejo/videos/vb.614142719/10154900022282720/?type=3 Jan. 3, 2017 1:16 PM ET Video shows man believed to be nightclub attacker in Turkey By DUSAN STOJANOVIC and LORI HINNANT, Associated Press THE ASSOCIATED PRESS STATEMENT OF NEWS VALUES AND PRINCIPLES AIM Share People carrying Turkish flags gather at the scene of the nightclub New Year's Day attack, in Istanbul, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack killing 39 people saying a “soldier of the caliphate” had carried out the mass shooting to avenge Turkish military operations against IS in northern Syria. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel) 5 of 5 More News Video The Latest: Jordanian businessman killed in club mourned Jan. 3, 2017 10:13 AM ET Video weakens Myanmar claims it's not abusing Rohingya Jan. 3, 2017 7:07 AM ET Skier Jean Vuarnet, who struck gold with tuck position, dies Jan. 2, 2017 4:53 PM ET Pope to bishops: Maintain 'zero tolerance' for child abuse Jan. 2, 2017 2:04 PM ET Bangladesh police say ruling party lawmaker shot dead Jan. 1, 2017 6:14 AM ET Buy AP Photo Reprints ISTANBUL (AP) — An eerie video emerged Tuesday of a man believed to be the attacker who killed 39 people in a mass shooting at a nightclub, showing him taking a selfie as he silently toured Istanbul's most famous square. The camera never leaves the man's unsmiling face as he walked through Taksim Square during the 44-second clip that was broadcast on state-run Anadolu television and other Turkish media. It wasn't immediately clear if the video was made before or after the New Year's massacre at the Reina nightclub, or how it was obtained. The gunman, who hasn't been publicly identified, is still at large. On Monday, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded nearly 70 people. The extremists said a "soldier of the caliphate" had carried out the mass shooting to avenge Turkish military operations against IS in northern Syria. Funerals began Tuesday in Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Turkey for the dead, most of them tourists. Mourners wept for the lives that were cut short in the early hours of 2017 at the popular and glamorous club. Thousands attended the funeral of Layan Nasser, an 18-year-old Arab Israeli dental assistant who was buried the Israeli city of Tira. "She had dreams to work, to progress, to study, to raise a family, but unfortunately the terror put an end to her dreams," said Tira Mayor Mamoun Abd El Hai. Hundreds of people attended funerals for two of three Lebanese victims. One of them, 26-year-old fitness instructor Elias Wardini, was recently engaged to be married. His family and friends set off fireworks as his white coffin arrived at a church in Beirut. At least 14 people have been detained in connection with the attack, including two foreigners stopped Tuesday at the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk Airport after police checked their cellphones and luggage, according to Anadolu. The Hurriyet newspaper said a woman identified by Turkish media as the wife of the suspect has told police she didn't know her husband was a member of the Islamic State group. The woman was detained in the central town of Konya as part of the investigation. Neither she nor her husband has been identified. Hurriyet reported in its online edition that the woman said she learned about the attack on TV and told police she didn't know her husband harbored "sympathies" toward IS. Media reports said the gunman flew to Istanbul from Kyrgyzstan with his wife and children on Nov. 20. From there, they drove to the Turkish capital, Ankara, before arriving two days later in Konya. The family rented a studio there, paying three months of rent in advance. The gunman told the real estate agent he was looking for work, according to the report. Hurriyet said the gunman returned to Istanbul Dec. 29. Several media outlets, citing unidentified security sources, reported Monday that the man was believed to be from Central Asia and may have been part of the cell that attacked Ataturk Airport in June, killing 45 people. On Tuesday, Haber Turk newspaper said the man is thought to be a member of China's Muslim Uighur minority. Turkish media showed photos of a Kyrgyz passport, but police said it did not belong to the gunman. The assailant, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian early Sunday outside the Reina nightclub before opening fire on the estimated 600 revelers inside. The club is frequented by local celebrities, including singers, actors and athletes. Turkey has been rocked by violence in the past year, carried out by IS as well as by Kurdish militants. The government survived a failed coup in the summer and is fighting Kurdish insurgents. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told parliament that authorities thwarted 339 possible attacks in 2016, including 313 by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and 22 by the Islamic State group. Lawmakers were to decide later whether to extend the state of emergency that was declared after the coup attempt. Turkey, a NATO member, launched an offensive to northern Syria in August in hopes of clearing a strategic border area of IS militants and stemming the gains of Kurdish fighters. Turkish jets regularly bomb IS targets in the Syrian town of al-Bab in support of Syrian opposition forces try to re-capture it from the extremists. ___ Hinnant reported from Paris. Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara contributed. Mon Jan 2, 2017 | 9:51 AM EST In Istanbul nightclub, gunman picked off the wounded ‹ Men lay flowers outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017. REUTERS/Umit Bektas 3/3 Men lay flowers outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017. Reuters/Umit Bektas An injured woman is carried to an ambulance from a nightclub where a gun attack took place during a New Year party in Istanbul, Turkey. Murat Ergin/Ihlas News Agency via REUTERS 1/3 An injured woman is carried to an ambulance from a nightclub where a gun attack took place during a New Year party in Istanbul, Turkey. Murat Ergin/Ihlas News Agency via Reuters Women who survived an attack by a gunman, react outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir 2/3 Women who survived an attack by a gunman, react outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017. Reuters/Huseyin Aldemir Men lay flowers outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017. REUTERS/Umit Bektas 3/3 Men lay flowers outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017. Reuters/Umit Bektas An injured woman is carried to an ambulance from a nightclub where a gun attack took place during a New Year party in Istanbul, Turkey. Murat Ergin/Ihlas News Agency via REUTERS 1/3 An injured woman is carried to an ambulance from a nightclub where a gun attack took place during a New Year party in Istanbul, Turkey. Murat Ergin/Ihlas News Agency via Reuters › In Istanbul nightclub, gunman picked off the wound...X By Yara Abi Nader and Humeyra Pamuk | ISTANBUL Shot in the arm and slumped behind a table, Francois al-Asmar played dead as the gunman walked through the exclusive Istanbul nightclub shooting the wounded as they lay on the ground. Like most of the 39 people killed at a New Year's party in Reina, a hang-out for the Turkish jet set and moneyed foreigners, the Lebanese radio and TV graduate was a visitor to Istanbul, enjoying a city reputed in the Middle East for its diversity and tolerance. "He shot one shot, so we thought - I thought - it was some angry or drunk man ... But a few seconds later, we heard a machine gun," Asmar told Reuters from his hospital bed. "I was hiding behind the table, sitting on the floor, but my shoulder must have been exposed. He was shooting us on the floor ... I acted dead so he didn't keep shooting me," he said. The lone gunman, still at large, shot dead a police officer and a civilian at the door before walking in and opening fire at random. Witnesses said he shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest). Islamic State claimed responsibility. "As soon as he entered the club he started firing and he didn't stop. He fired non-stop for 20 minutes at least," said Younis Turk, a French citizen of Turkish origin. "We thought that there were several of them because it just didn't stop. And there was some kind of bombing as well, he threw some explosives," he said. The club was a gathering point for many nationalities that night. Victims included an Indian Bollywood film producer, a Turkish waiter, a Lebanese fitness trainer and a Jordanian bar owner. According to a forensics report quoted by the Milliyet newspaper, some of the victims were shot at very close distance or even at point-blank range. Mehmet Yilan, 36, a barman at Reina for 12 years, said the attacker deliberately targeted the most crowded areas of the club, which sits on the shore of the Bosphorus in Ortakoy, an Istanbul neighborhood packed with cafes and restaurants. "He stormed in and immediately headed for the people to the left, which is always more crowded ... I wonder if he came here before because he seemed to know where to go," Yilan said, describing how his manager yelled at people to run. ADVERTISEMENT . "He was shooting randomly but aiming for their upper bodies. He didn't want to just injure them." Yilan escaped into a back room with five customers and two other bar staff, then went downstairs to a terraced area on the edge of the water. Despite the icy, snowy weather, some people jumped into the water to escape the gunfire. "He kept shooting all throughout. I called for our boat which transfers our customers, but he kept firing toward the sea too. The boat couldn't approach," Yilan said. He spoke to Reuters at the funeral of his colleague, Fatih Cakmak, a security guard who worked at the club and had survived a suicide bombing targeting police at a soccer stadium a few kilometers away just three weeks earlier. "ISTANBUL'S BEST NIGHT CLUB" Lito German, 47, a Filipino living in Saudi Arabia who works in marketing, was in Istanbul for the first time with his wife and daughter and was approaching the club as the attack began. "We were about 100 metres away and started seeing people fleeing toward us. Most were very well dressed, though many were barefoot and looking shaken and scared," he said. "We were actually meant to go to another club, but we didn't want to be in a very big place due to security issues, and we found Reina by googling Istanbul's best night club. We thought the most expensive club would have better security." Armored police vehicles rushed to the scene as more and more people came running out, he said. Among the dead were Abis Rizvi, 49, a Bollywood producer who was in the midst of making his second film, and Khushi Shah, a fashion designer in her 20s, both from Mumbai. The Indian government said it was making arrangements to help the families as they come to Turkey to collect the bodies. Lebanon sent a plane to carry back the remains of three of its citizens who were among the dead. Elias Wardini, 26, a personal trainer, had posted a picture on Instagram a few hours before the attack, posing in the Istanbul snow with another Lebanese victim in her twenties, Rita Shami. The club's owner, Mehmet Kocarslan, said police had taken extraordinary security measures in the run-up to the New Year in neighborhoods on the Bosphorus shore around Ortakoy. The U.S. embassy had warned of potential attacks on areas frequented by foreigners, but Kocarslan said there had been no specific threat against his club in particular and that many of the warnings had been country-wide. "I really don't know how this demon, I can't even call him a terrorist, was able to reach here despite all this intelligence and extraordinary security measures," he said. The incident bore echoes of an attack by militant Islamists on Paris's Bataclan music hall in November 2015 that, along with assaults on bars and restaurants, killed 130 people. "When they're determined, they're determined, and there's nothing to do," said Turk, who was visiting from France. "That doesn't mean that I won't be coming anymore. For me Turkey, Istanbul, is one of the nicest cities in the world and I will keep on coming again and again." (Additional reporting by Miguel Pereira and Yesim Dikmen in Istanbul, Shilpa Jamkhandikar in Mumbai, Lisa Barrington in Beirut; editing by Ralph Boulton; Writing by Nick Tattersall) ============================= Bollywood director Abis Rizvi killed in Istanbul terror attack: who was he and what films did he make? 0 Comments Abis Rizvi was killed in the Istanbul nightclub attack on New Year's Day Abis Rizvi was killed in the Istanbul nightclub attack on New Year's Day CREDIT: FACEBOOK/ABIS RIZVI Telegraph Reporters 2 JANUARY 2017 • 1:52PM In the early hours of New Year’s Day in Istanbul, a terrorist dressed as Santa Claus fired over 100 shots in Reina nightclub, killing at least 39 people and injuring 40. Among those killed was 49-year-old Bollywood producer and entrepreneur Abis Rizvi, who was on holiday in Turkey with friends. His death has left the Bollywood industry in shock, with many stars speaking out against the attack. Sponsored stories Celebrities who have children with additional needs Celebrities who have children with additional needs Kidspot Parenting Most PC Users Don't Know This Simple Trick… Most PC Users Don't Know This Simple Trick… Web Life Advice Recommended by Shocking .. Life is too short, we take too much for granted.. #RIP #AbisRizvi .. Good man.. My condolences to the family 🙏 #istambulattack — Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) January 1, 2017 Devastated by the death of my friend #AbisRizvi in the dastardly terrorist attack this morning in an #Istanbul nightclub. — Jaaved Jaaferi (@jaavedjaaferi) January 1, 2017 R.I.P #abisrizvi ur life taken so soon U didnt deserve this! & to think u were just enjoying ur new years eve! So sorry😭😢 #NightclubAttack — Nora Fatehi (@Norafatehi) January 1, 2017 My childhood buddy #AbisRizvi who was more than a brother was killed last nght in #istanbulattack Condolences to the family.We will miss him pic.twitter.com/egt5YWHBKg — Naved Jafri (@NavedJafri_BOO) January 1, 2017 In India, Rizvi was as known for his building company as he was for his filmmaking. Born in West Mumbai to a former Rajya Sabha MP, he became the CEO of his father’s real estate business and, along with his brothers and cousin, followed his uncle Sibte Hassan Rizvi into the film industry. He acted as producer and co-writer of the Indian film Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans, which was released in 2014, and founded the production company Abis Rizvi Films. His second production was He-Man, a documentary following India’s only professional body-builder. Actor and director Puneet Issar, who spoke to Rivzi only hours before the attack, told news organisations that the pair had watched a rough cut of the film on Christmas Eve. A third film, coming-of-age drama T for Taj Mahal, is still in production and was slated for release in March. With a focus on philanthropy, Rizvi’s business interests also saw him expand into education, building and managing colleges in Mumbai, Allahabad and Jaunpur, as well as developing technology products. He continued to live in Mumbai until his death, and left behind a wife and son. ============================================ Sat Dec 31, 2016 | 9:23 PM EST 52m ago | 01:20 Dozens dead in Turkish nightclub attack By Humeyra Pamuk and Nick Tattersall | ISTANBUL At least one gunman shot his way into an Istanbul nightclub packed with hundreds of New Year's revelers on Sunday, killing 35 people and wounding more than 40 in what the provincial governor described as a terrorist attack. One assailant shot a police officer and a civilian as he entered the Reina nightclub before opening fire at random inside, Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said at the scene. Some reports suggested there were multiple attackers. "A terrorist with a long-range weapon ... brutally and savagely carried out this attack by firing bullets on innocent people who were there solely to celebrate the New Year and have fun," Sahin told reporters. The attack again shook Turkey as it tries to recover from a failed July coup and a series of deadly bombings in cities including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, some blamed on Islamic State and others claimed by Kurdish militants. The club, one of Istanbul's most iconic, popular with locals and foreigners alike, overlooks the Bosphorus Strait separating Europe and Asia in the city's cosmopolitan Ortakoy district. Around 500 to 600 people were thought to have been inside when the gunman opened fire at around 1:15 a.m. (2230 GMT), broadcaster CNN Turk said. Some jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus to save themselves and were rescued by police. U.S. President Barack Obama, on vacation in Hawaii, expressed condolences and directed his team to offer help to the Turkish authorities, the White House said. Sahin said there was only one attacker but other reports, including on social media, suggested there may have been at least two, dressed in Santa Claus costumes which they later ditched. ADVERTISEMENT The Hurriyet newspaper cited witnesses as saying there were multiple attackers and that they shouted in Arabic. "We were having fun. All of a sudden people started to run. My husband said don't be afraid, and he jumped on me. People ran over me. My husband was hit in three places," one club-goer, Sinem Uyanik, told the newspaper. "I managed to push through and get out, it was terrible," she said, describing seeing people soaked in blood and adding that there appeared to have been at least two gunmen. "POLICE MOVED IN QUICKLY" Dozens of ambulances and police vehicles were dispatched to the club in Ortakoy, a neighborhood on the city's European side nestled under one of three bridges crossing the Bosphorus and home to nightclubs, restaurants and art galleries. "I didn't see who was shooting but heard the gun shots and people fled. Police moved in quickly," Sefa Boydas, a Turkish soccer player, wrote on Twitter. "My girlfriend was wearing high heels. I lifted her and carried her out on my back," he said. Related Coverage VIDEODozens killed in nightclub attack - official Obama offers U.S. assistance to Turkey after Istanbul attack Hurriyet quoted Reina's owner, Mehmet Kocarslan, as saying security measures had been taken over the past 10 days after U.S. intelligence reports suggested a possible attack. Turkey, a NATO member and part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, faces multiple security threats including spillover from the war in neighboring Syria. It launched a military incursion into Syria in August against the radical Islamist group and is also fighting a Kurdish militant insurgency in its own southeast. The New Year's Eve attack came five months after Turkey was shaken by a failed military coup, in which more than 240 people were killed, many of them in Istanbul, as rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and fighter jets in a bid to seize power. Istanbul, Turkey's most populous city, has seen several attacks this year, the latest on Dec. 10, when two bombs claimed by Kurdish militants exploded outside a soccer stadium, killing 44 people and wounding more than 150. In June, around 45 people were killed and hundreds wounded as three suspected Islamic State militants carried out a gun and bomb attack on Istanbul's main Ataturk airport. (Additional reporting by Ece Toksabay in Ankara; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Mary Milliken)

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