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Turkish nightclub targeted Swiss express consternation over Istanbul attack

A general view of the Reina night club after a gun attack on the popular nightclub as revellers celebrated the new year

(Keystone)

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter has expressed his consternation over a mass shooting in a packed Istanbul nightclub in Turkey. 

Burkhalter has already contacted the Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu to express his sentiments over the attack, in which a lone gunman opened fire in the Reina nightclub about 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT), as clubbers in Istanbul marked the New Year. At least 39 people died, among them nationals from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Libya, Israel, India, a Turkish-Belgian dual citizen and a Franco-Tunisian
woman. At least 69 people are being treated in hospital.

The Swiss foreign ministry told swissinfo.ch on Monday that Turkish authorities confirmed no Swiss nationals were caught up in the attack.

On Monday the Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on one of its Telegram channels, a method it has used to claim attacks in
the past. There was no immediate comment from Turkish officials.

Turkish authorities are continuing to search for the attacker, believed to have acted alone. 

NATO member Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State and launched an incursion into Syria in August to drive the radical Sunni militants from its borders.

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swissinfo.ch and agencies/ilj

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