"Many killed and injured": men in Santa outfits open fire in a club

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*This is a breaking news story*

Local reports this evening state that a tragic incident has occurred in an upmarket Turkish nightclub, where a huge New Year's bash was marking the end of 2016.

It is believed that two men dressed in Santa outfits opened fire on revellers, killing and injuring dozens. The most recent information coming live from the scene reports that 35 people are dead. At least one of the dead is a police officer.

CNN Turk reports that at least one attacker is still at large outside the Istanbul venue. The BBC reports that after the shooting, the killer shouted the murder was in revenge for Russian involvement in the conflict in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Ambulances and police forces are there now in the popular Ortakoy district of the city. The attack happened at 00.30 local time (11.30 Irish time).

Up to 30 people have been wounded in the attack, NTV is reporting.

And close-to 700 people would have been at the club – one of the city's most high-profile spots – at the time.

In March also in Turkey, 37 people died in a bombing at a bus stop in Ankara. Meanwhile in June, a suicide bombing at Istanbul airport killed 45 people.  

The hashtag #PrayForIstanbul had in the aftermath of the killings begun trending on social media outlets.

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