An armed assailant has opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations, wounding several people, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported.
Private NTV television said more than one assailant may have been involved in the attack. The attacker or attackers are believed to have entered the nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortakoy district disguised as Santa Claus, the station reported.
Footage from the scene showed at least six ambulances with flashing lights and civilians being escorted out. NTV said police had cordoned off the area and an operation to capture the assailant was ongoing.
An AP photographer says police cordoned off the area about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away from the nightclub and reported multiple ambulances passing by.
Security measures had been heightened in major Turkish cities, with police barring traffic leading up to key squares in Istanbul and the capital Ankara. In Istanbul, 17,000 police officers were put on duty, some camouflaged as Santa Clause and others as street vendors, Anadolu reported.
Ankara and Istanbul have been targeted by several attacks in 2016 carried out by the Islamic State group or Kurdish rebels, killing more than 180 people.