Islamic State claimed responsibility on Monday (January 2) for a New Year's Day mass shooting in a packed Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people, an attack carried out by a lone gunman who remains at large. Emily Wither reports.
It bore the hallmark of an Islamic State attack and now the militant group has claimed the gunman - who remains at large - as one of their own. As Turkey pays tribute to the 39 people killed on New Year's Day in the mass shooting at the packed Reina nightclub in Istanbul. A manhunt is underway to try to find the lone gunman. It's estimated he fired 180 bullets in to the crowd. In a statement, the militant group said one of their soldiers struck a place where Christians were celebrating their holiday. 69 people were also wounded in the attack. Francois al-Asmar from Lebanon says he played dead to survive. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WOUNDED LEBANESE MAN IN ATTACK, FRANCOIS AL-ASMAR, SAYING: "He fired one shot on its own, so we thought - I thought - it was some angry or drunk man who shot from his gun. But a few seconds later, we heard a machine gun. We were already lying on the floor from the first shot." Islamic State says the shooting was revenge for Turkey's military involvement in Syria. The group has been blamed for at least half a dozen attacks on civilian targets in the country over the past 18 months. The Turkish army releasing footage after the attack showing them hitting IS targets in Northern Syria on New Year's Day.