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Summary

  1. At least 39 people die in an attack on a New Year's Eve party at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul
  2. It happened at about 01:30 local time (22:30 GMT)
  3. The city was on high alert with about 17,000 police officers on duty
  4. Turkey's interior minister says police are still searching for the assailant
  5. Gunman left his weapon at the scene, Turkish PM says

Live Reporting

By Nalina Eggert, Kevin Ponniah and Claire Heald

All times stated are UK

  1. Thanks for reading

    Our live coverage of this story is now ending. Thank you for reading.

    The BBC News website will continue to follow events closely as Turkey hunts the gunman who killed dozens of people celebrating the new year in Istanbul. And below you can find some related material:

    Eyewitnesses describe the horror

    The glamorous Reina nightclub 

    Gunman caught on camera

  2. In pictures: The attack's aftermath

    An injured woman is carried to an ambulance from a nightclub where a gun attack took place during a New Year party in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 201
    Image caption: A night of celebration turned to one of terror for partygoers at the Reina
    A woman mourns with her head in her hands
    Image caption: A former employee of the Reina nightclub reacts to the attack
    Relatives react at the funeral of Ayhan Arik, a victim of an attack by a gunman at Reina nig
    Image caption: Relatives mourn Ayhan Arik, a travel agent and father of two who was shot dead
    Flowers are placed next to Turkish police officers as they stand guard near the Reina nightclub, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul
    Image caption: Flowers scattered around Turkish police officers as they guard the Reina nightclub
  3. US denies it had information on threat to Istanbul nightclub

    The US is denying reports in Turkey that it knew in advance of a possible terror threat to a nightclub in Istanbul.

    "‎Contrary to to rumors circulating in social media, the US Government had no information about threats to specific entertainment venues, including the Reina Club," the US Embassy in Ankara said in a statement. 

    It said the US had issued a "general holiday season threat warning for Turkey and various parts of Europe" on 22 December, but did not warn Americans to stay away from specific venues or neighbourhoods. 

  4. Kurdish forces not involved in attack - PKK

    BBC Monitoring

    News from around the globe

    Murat Karayilan, an executive council member of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has reportedly said that no Kurdish forces were involved in the attack.

    Kurdish forces would "never target innocent civilians", the pro-PKK Firat News Agency quoted him as telling a Kurdish radio station.

    He said he doubted that the TAK - a militant PKK offshoot responsible for several recent attacks in Turkey- would carry out such an attack.

    Who are the PKK?

  5. Turkey PM visits survivor

    Prime Minister Benali Yildirim's office has released this picture of him (R) visiting the hospital bed of a man who survived last night's attack.

    Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (R) visits a survivor of the nightclub attack at a hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 201
  6. Mourners leave flowers at Reina nightclub

    woman leaving flowers
    red candles on the ground
    man with flowers
  7. Turkey is 'fighting two fights'

    Metin Gurcan, an Istanbul based security analyst, told the BBC that it is proving difficult for Turkey to deal with fighting the two fights it is currently engaged in.

    He says: "First one is the fight against PKK, the secular leftist Kurdish anti-nationalist armed group, now a state actor.

    "And the second fight is the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS). 

    "How can you allocate resources and capacity? 

    "This is, I think, the grave question the decision makers right now in Turkey have been asking. 

    "Which one of these should be prioritised, the fight against the PKK or the fight against IS?"

    Because the people who died were mainly civilians, the finger of blame for this attack is being pointed at IS. But the motive for the attack is not yet clear and the gunman has not been apprehended.

  8. Where did the victims come from?

    Of the 39 people confirmed killed, at least 15 are known to be foreign nationals.

    There are victims from Lebanon, Jordan, France, Tunisia, Israel, Belgium and Saudi Arabia, reports say.

    Here is what we know about them at this point:

    • Three are Jordanians, the foreign ministry says.
    • Saudi nationals are reported to have been killed but the numbers vary
    • The family of Elias Wardini, a Lebanese national, say they have been informed of his death. At least one more Lebanese citizen is reported to have died
    • A French-Tunisian dual national died, the French foreign ministry confirms
    • Tunisia's foreign ministry said on Facebook that two Tunisians died. It is unclear if either of them is the French-Tunisian dual national
    • An 18-year-old Israeli woman was killed, the government said. Leanne Nasser was celebrating with three friends at the Reina nightclub
    • Belgium's foreign ministry confirmed a Belgian-Turkish dual national died
  9. French-Tunisian dual national among dead

    French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has confirmed the death of a French-Tunisian dual national. 

    A ministry spokesman tweeted the news:

    View more on twitter
  10. Istanbul's Reina: Where the young and beautiful party

    The Reina, seen from the water
    Image caption: The club is described by some tourists as a 'must see' in Istanbul

    The site of Turkey's latest deadly attack is a glamorous nightclub on the shores of the Bosphorus.

    Celebrities are often spotted there, and it's also a favourite among international visitors.

    One tourist from London described it in dreamy terms: "You can just sit there and watch all the beautiful people of the city".  

    Read more:

    Where the young and beautiful party

  11. At least three people remain critically injured

    Prime Minister Yildirim confirmed that more than 60 people were injured, and said three or four of them were in a critical condition. 

    At least 39 people are known to have died.

    Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (C), accompanied by Health Minister Recep Akdag and Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, talks to media after he visited survivors of the nightclub attack at a hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017.
  12. 'No Santa Claus outfit' - Yildirim

    The prime minister has rejected earlier reports that the assailant was dressed in a Santa Claus outfit.

    "This is not true," he said.

  13. BreakingAttacker 'left gun at the scene' - Turkish PM

    Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says the nightclub attacker left his gun at the scene before fleeing.

  14. BreakingLebanese man 'among dead'

    A TV station in Lebanon is reporting that one of the dead from last night's attack was a Lebanese citizen.

    Elias Wardini was missing. His family have spoken to New TV and say they have been officially informed of his death.

  15. Police stand guard

    Riot police are guarding the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.

    Turkish police stand guard outisde the Reina nightclub by the Bosphorus, which was attacked by a gunman, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017.
  16. 'Terror cannot frighten us' - Turkish PM

    After Turkey's latest deadly attack, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says that the country will not be cowed.

    "The most important, the biggest assurance for us, is the spirit of solidarity our nation is displaying before all these attacks," he told journalists.

    "There is no problem we cannot overcome."

    Quote Message: Terror cannot frighten us. We will frighten terror away." from Binali Yildirim Turkish Prime Minister
    Binali YildirimTurkish Prime Minister
  17. Israel PM: anti-terrorism effort must be international

    BBC Monitoring

    News from around the globe

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the Istanbul attack and called for concerted international efforts to fight terrorism, The Jerusalem Post reports

    Speaking at the opening of Sunday's cabinet meeting Mr Netanyahu quoted Chancellor Merkel's remarks over the weekend that "the biggest threat to the future of the world is from extremist Islamic terror," the paper reports.

    One Israeli woman is known to have died in last night's attack. Another was wounded.

  18. Victims' funerals begin

    The funerals of some of the victims of the attack have begun already, quickly as is the norm under Muslim tradition.

    A boy reacts at the funeral of Ayhan Arik, a victim of an attack by a gunman at Reina nightclub, in Istanbul, Turkey, January 1, 2017
    Image caption: This boy was at the funeral of Ayhan Arik.
  19. Pope Francis issues call to 'confront this stain of blood'

    Today is the World Day of Peace in the Roman Catholic calendar. 

    It's the 50th anniversary of the tradition and Pope Francis had prepared a message about meeting violence with non-violence.

    He departed from his prepared speech to acknowledge the attack that started the new year.

    He said: "Unfortunately, violence has stricken even in this night of good wishes and hope. 

    "Pained, I express my closeness to the Turkish people. I pray for the many victims and for the wounded and for the entire nation in mourning."

    Pope Francis leads a mass at St Peter"s basilica on January 1st, 2017 at the Vatican.
    Image caption: The Pope was leading Mass at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican