Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Istanbul Nightclub Attack

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from The Wall Street Journal,

New Year’s assault killed at least 39 people.

Islamic State claimed responsibility Monday for a New Year’s attack on an upscale Istanbul nightclub that killed at least 39 people, saying it targeted Turkey in retaliation for military operations against the extremist group in neighboring Syria.

Turkish security forces said they were hunting for the lone gunman who opened fire with an assault rifle on revelers in a popular party spot overlooking the Bosporus before ditching his weapon and slipping away early Sunday.

Authorities released two photographs of the suspect, a young looking male with short hair and no significant beard or mustache, clad in a puffy, black winter jacket.

After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired a regular cabinet meeting Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said authorities have the suspect’s fingerprints and basic appearance and are close to identifying him. He said eight other people were detained in connection with the attack, and were being questioned Monday by the counterterrorism police.

Islamic State’s propaganda arm characterized the gunman as a “soldier of the caliphate” and attributed the group’s actions to Turkish airstrikes and artillery attacks it says have killed Muslims.

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