First terrorist attack of 2017: Santa Claus kills 39 in Istanbul night club

First terrorist attack of 2017: Santa Claus kills 39 in Istanbul night club

At least 39 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in an attack on crowded nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey's interior minister said, Aljazeera reports.

The minister, Suleyman Soylu, added that police are hunting one "terrorist" after the attack that hit the night spot in Ortakoy neighbourhood at around 1:15am on Sunday.

Governor Vasip Sahin said the attacker, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside the Reina club before entering and firing on people partying inside.

"A terrorist with a long-range weapon ... brutally and savagely carried out this incident by firing bullets on innocent people who were there solely to celebrate the New Year and have fun," he said at the scene.

Witnesses reported seeing at least one gunman at the nightclub and earlier local media reports said one attacker had been killed.

Sixty-nine people were in hospital after the attack, Soylu said. Of the 21 dead identified so far, 15 were foreigners.

Some survivors jumped into the waters of the Bosphorus to save themselves and were being rescued by police.

Dozens of ambulances and police vehicles were dispatched to the attack site.

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