BREAKING: TERROR IN TURKEY: ’39 dead, 69 injured’ as gunman storms nightclub...

BREAKING: TERROR IN TURKEY: ’39 dead, 69 injured’ as gunman storms nightclub on New Year’s Eve party

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Television footage from the scene shows ambulances, police and other emergency services attening the scene at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.

The Mayor of Istanbul has described the shooting as a “terrorist attack” and a manhunt is underway to find the shooter.

The gunman opened fire on partygoers at around 1.30am local time (2330 GMT).

People trapped inside the club jumped in the nearby Bosphorus river to escape the crazed gunman.

The area the size of a kilometre around the nightclub has been cordoned off by authorities.

Armed police outside Turkish nightclubREUTERS

Armed police have secured the area yet the gunman is still at large

Unfortunately (he) rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’s and have fun

Vasip Sahin

Istanbul’s governor Vasip Sahin said: “Unfortunately (he) rained bullets in a very cruel and merciless way on innocent people who were there to celebrate New Year’s and have fun.”

The attacker shot a police officer and a civlian as he entered the club in the Ortakoy district of Turkey’s largest city.

After gunning down people outside the club, the attacker entered the club where he opened fire on people inside the building.

There are 16 foreign nationals among the dead in Turkey, according to the nations interior minister, yet it is not known from which countries they come from.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are in touch with the local authorities following reports of an incident at a night club in Istanbul.”

Barack Obama, who is currently on holiday in Hawaii, has been informed about the attack and has offered to help Turkish authorities.

Deputy White House spokesman Eric Schultz said: “This afternoon the President was briefed by his national security team on the attack in Istanbul.

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.”

Turkey has been targeted in numerous terror attacks throughout 2016 and security was tightened in the city.

Terror in TurkeyREUTERS

The attack has been described as a terrorist attack

In retaliation to events this year, around 17,000 officers deployed on the streets of Istanbul to prevent any further terror attacks.

Facebook has turned on a safety check-in for those in Istanbul to let family and friends know that they are safe.