ISTANBUL — The victims of the attack on revelers celebrating New Year at an Istanbul nightclub include citizens of several Arab countries, a Turkish cabinet minister said on Sunday.
“There are foreigners and Turks, but the majority are foreigners. From different countries — Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Libya,” said Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, quoted by the Anadolu news agency.
Authorities have said 39 people were killed, including at least 15 foreigners, and 65 others wounded. However Turkish officials have yet to give full details on the nationalities.
Media reports later specified that Kaya, who had visited hospitals in Istanbul treating the injured, had been referring to the nationalities of wounded rather than dead.
In Amman, the foreign ministry said three Jordanians were killed and four injured, the official Petra news agency reported.
Another five Saudi citizens were among those killed and nine Saudis were injured, Al Arabiya reported.
The Tunisian foreign ministry said on its Facebook page that two Tunisians died, with media reports saying the victims were a businessman and his wife.
Three Moroccans were wounded, the MAP news agency quoted the embassy in Ankara as saying. The Lebanese consulate in Istanbul said one Lebanese citizen was missing and three wounded.
Belgium’s foreign ministry has confirmed a Belgian-Turkish dual national was killed, while Paris said three French people were injured.
One young Israeli woman died and another Israeli was wounded. The victim, who earlier was reported missing, was identified Sunday morning as 19-year-old Lian Zaher Nasser from the Arab Israeli city of Tira.
A young Israeli woman, Ro’a Mansour, 18, was hurt in the shooting attack, with reports that she was in moderate condition.
Nasser and Mansour were together at the club along with two other Israeli women, Ella Tariq Abd al-Hay, 27, and Ayia Ihsan Abd al-Hay, all from the city of Tira in central Israel.
The attack took place at the swanky Reina nightclub in the Ortakoy district on the banks of the Bosphorus on the European side of the city.
There were reportedly as many as 700 people dancing to celebrate the New Year, which chimed in just over an hour before the attack.
The club is one of Istanbul’s most exclusive nightspots and it is notoriously hard to get past the bouncers, who seek out only the best dressed.
Television pictures showed shell-shocked revelers in party dress — men in suits and women in cocktail dresses — emerging dazed from the scene.
The attack sparked mass panic, with some diving into the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia to escape the bullets. Rescuers battled to salvage them from the water.