Two gunmen, allegedly dressed in Santa costumes, opened fire inside an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve, killing at least 35 and wounding 40 more, according to the city’s governor. The massacre took place around 1:30 a.m. local time, when hundreds of people were packed into the Reina club, in the Ortakoy neighborhood, to ring in 2017. Desperate partygoers reportedly jumped into the Bosphorus to escape the attack.
While the Turkish government has released no information yet on the alleged perpetrators, the country has been hit by a string of assassinations and mass terror attacks in recent weeks. On Dec. 19, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead, as he gave a speech at an art gallery in Ankara, by an off-duty police officer allegedly angered by Russia’s backing of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime and its destruction of rebel forces in Aleppo. And on Dec. 10, a car bomb attack in central Istanbul killed 29 people, most of them policemen, and wounded 166 after a soccer match.