Istanbul demolishes Reina nightclub targeted by ISIL in New Year

State-run Anadolu news agency cited Reina employees as saying they were unaware of the demolition decision and arrived in the morning to see the destruction.
A man walks through debris from the demolition of the Reina nightclub on May 22, 2017, near Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul. Yasin Akgul / AFP
A man walks through debris from the demolition of the Reina nightclub on May 22, 2017, near Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul. Yasin Akgul / AFP

ISTANBUL // Mechanical excavators on Monday demolished most of the Istanbul nightclub where a gunman killed 39 people on New Year’s Day in an attack claimed by ISIL.

The city municipality had ordered its partial demolition.

State-run Anadolu news agency cited Reina employees as saying they were unaware of the demolition decision and arrived in the morning to see the destruction.

Footage showed debris piled high across the area where the exclusive club stood along the Bosphorus shore, below a suspension bridge linking Europe and Asia. Only the entrance area of the club remained standing.

The Istanbul city council said the decision was taken to demolish parts of the nightclub because it violated regulations.

Police on January 17 captured the alleged gunman, an Uzbek national they said had clearly acted on behalf of ISIL. The extremist group said it was responsible for the attack, and that it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.

The attacker opened fire with an automatic rifle, throwing stun grenades to allow himself to reload and shooting the wounded on the ground.

Among those killed in the attack were Turks and visitors from several Arab nations, India and Canada.

Last month, the United States revealed that a secret military ground operation killed an ISIL operative, a close associate of leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, who was linked to the Istanbul nightclub attack.

* Reuters

Published: May 22, 2017 04:00 AM

SHARE

Most Read