Citizens of up to a dozen countries, including seven Saudi nationals and four Iraqis, were among the 39 people killed when a gunman opened fire on New Year’s Eve revellers in a crowded nightclub in Istanbul, Turkish media have said.
Local media said the Turkish victims at the Reina nightclub on the Bosphorus waterfront included a policeman, a female security guard and a travel agent.
The government in Ankara made no official statement on the victims’ nationalities but the private Dogan news agency said the dead also included two Indians, two Tunisians and one person each from Canada, France, Syria, Israel and Belgium.
Turkey’s interior minister, Süleyman Soylu, said earlier that of the 20 victims who had been formally identified, 15 were foreign nationals and five were Turks. The family minister, Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, said the majority of the injured were foreign, including nationals of Morocco, Lebanon and Libya.
On Sunday, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau confirmed a Canadian citizen was among the dead. He said the nation grieved “the senseless loss of a Canadian citizen and remain steadfast in our determination to work with allies and partners to fight terrorism and hold perpetrators to account”.
Saudi Arabia did not immediately confirm a death toll for its nationals but issued a strong condemnation of the attack, saying the kingdom was “standing alongside brotherly Turkey against terrorism and extremism”.
The Dubai-based broadcaster al-Arabiya cited sources at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul as saying seven Saudi nationals had died and at least 10 were wounded.
Istanbul is a major tourist destination for holidaymakers from the Middle East, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.
The Jordanian foreign ministry said three Jordanians had been killed and four injured, according to the Petra news agency, while Tunisia’s foreign ministry said two Tunisians had died. Media reports said the Tunisian victims were a businessman and his wife.
Three Lebanese citizens were among those killed in the attack, the country’s foreign ministry said. Four other Lebanese were injured.
The ministry named those killed as Elias Wardini, Haykal Mousallem and Rita Shami. Lebanon’s consulate in Istanbul and the state news agency said one of the injured was the daughter of an MP, Estephan El Douaihy.
Stephanie Deek, a friend of Moussallem’s wife, said the couple had been at the club when the attacker opened fire. “They were just tourists, married for five months,” she said. “They wanted to find the perfect place to spend New Year’s Eve.” Moussallem’s wife survived.
The Lebanese government said it was sending a plane with a medical team to Turkey on Sunday night to bring the wounded back to Beirut.
France’s foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said a woman with French and Tunisian citizenship had been killed, along with her Tunisian husband.
Israel’s foreign ministry said one of its citizens had died. Media reports named her as Leann Zaher Nasser, 18, from the Israeli-Arab town of Tira.
India named two nationals – Abis Rizvi, the son of a former MP, and Khushi Shah – as among the dead. Morocco’s embassy in Ankara told the MAP news agency that three Moroccans had been wounded.
The foreign ministry of Belgium confirmed that a Belgian-Turkish dual national had been killed.
Turkish media said Turkey’s dead included Burak Yildiz, 22, a policeman who had been in the force for 18 months, Ayhan Arik, 47, a travel agent, and Hatice Karcilar, a private security guard.
Soylu, the interior minister, said that of the Turkish victims, three or four may have been employees of the club.
He added that four of the 69 wounded being treated in hospital were in a serious condition. Soylu said the attack was “a massacre, truly inhumane savagery.”
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