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Istanbul Reina nightclub attack 'leaves 35 dead'
January 1, 2017
There were reportedly as many as 700 people in the nightclub at the time of the attack, some
of whom are believed to have jumped into the water to escape.
Dogan news agency reported that some witnesses claimed the attackers were "speaking
Arabic" while Turkish television channel NTV said special force police officers were searching
US President Barack Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii, was among the first international
leaders toto make a statement after being briefed by his team.
"The president expressed condolences for the innocent lives lost, directed his team to offer
appropriate assistance to the Turkish authorities, as necessary, and keep him updated as
warranted," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government has ordered a temporary media blackout in the wake of
the attack, citing security and public order concerns.
This is not the first time such an order has been made.
Istanbul was already on high alert with some 17,000 police officers on duty in the city,
following a string of terror attacks in recent months.
Many were carried out by so-called Islamic State (IS) or Kurdish militants.
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