READ: ISIS Claims Terror Attack at Reina Nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey

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A woman places flowers outside the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, following a gun attack on New Year’s Eve, on January 1, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Daghan Kozanoglu/Getty Images)

The Islamic State has officially claimed an attack at a New Year’s Eve celebration at Reina nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey. 39 people were killed. Read ISIS’ statement in English here.

The announcement follows speculation by Turkish officials the attack was terrorism, reports The New York Times. ISIS had previously threatened New Year’s celebrations around the globe, particularly in Turkey.

According to Al-Jazeera, the statement reads in English:

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.

ISIS had previously warned Muslims to not celebrate New Year’s Eve.

According to USA Today, there was an estimated 500 people in attendance at Reina nightclub when the attack occurred.

According to The New York Post, the gunman, dressed as Santa Claus and armed with a long-barreled weapon, shot and killed a policeman and a civilian around 1:45 a.m. before entering the club and opening fire. According to CNN, the victims of the attack were from 14 countries, including India, Morocco, Jordan, Canada, Russia, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.

According to The Guardian:

Turkish media reports said police had established similarities with a suicide bomb and gun attack at Istanbul’s Atatürk airport in June and were investigating whether the same Isis cell could have carried out both atrocities.

There were 30 acts of terror in Turkey last year, with at least 3 of them bombings believed to have been committed by the Islamic State. Earlier this month, ISIS released a video from Al-Bab, Syria showing the execution of two Turkish soldiers by immolation. Yesterday, Islamic State media released the video with English subtitles. Watch it here.

Heavy is an independent news organization. We report acts of terror and violence so that the public may be fully informed. This may include content considered graphic, which is identified. We do not support, in any way, the individuals or organizations involved.

Find more ISIS news, photos and videos here.

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