Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the devastating gun attack on an Istanbul nightclub which killed 39 people.
In a statement released this morning, the group said a ‘heroic soldier’ had attacked the club.
It read: “In continuation of the blessed operations that Islamic State is conducting against the protector of the cross, Turkey, a heroic soldier of the caliphate struck one of the most famous nightclubs where the Christians celebrate their apostate holiday,” the statement said.
A gunman opened fire in Reina nightclub at about 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT), as revellers marked the new year.
Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said efforts were continuing to find the attacker, who was believed to have acted alone.
At least 69 people were being treated in hospital, the minister added. Four were said to be in a serious condition.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attackers were trying to “create chaos” and pledged to “fight to the end” against terrorism.