ISTANBUL, Jan 01, (Press Shia) – An armed attack killed at least 35 people and injured 40 at an Istanbul nightclub early Sunday, the governor said.

Vasip Sahin described the attack in Ortakoy, Besiktas, as “cruel” and an “act of terror”.

“At 1.15 a.m., a terrorist carrying a long-barreled weapon martyred the police officer waiting outside, and then martyred another citizen to enter” into the club, he said.

“He then carried out this violent and cruel act by spraying bullets on innocent people who were celebrating the new year,” Sahin said.

An investigation is underway and the governor’s office would provide further updates, he added.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed deep sadness over the attack, according to government sources, and received updates from Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Governor Sahin on the casualties as well as the details of the terrorist act.

The attack comes three weeks after twin bombings in Istanbul killed at least 45 people, mostly police officers.

AA/Press Shia