- Title: Istanbul's Lebanese victims arrive back home
- Date: 2nd January 2017
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (JANUARY 2, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AMBULANCES WAITING TO GO IN THE LANDING AREA IN BEIRUT RAFIC HARIRI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AMBULANCES DRIVING TOWARDS THE LANDING AREA VARIOUS OF RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS WAITING IN THE GUESTS OF HONOR HALL IN THE AIRPORT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BUSINESS PARTNER OF LEBANESE VICTIM HAYKAL MOUSALLEM, ELIE SLAIBI, SAYING: "We condemn what happened and we hope this kind of thing never happens again, because there are many youth who are innocent victims, what more can I say." VARIOUS OF MOUSALLEM RELATIVES HOLDING HIS PICTURE LEBANESE OFFICIALS INCLUDING PRIME MINISTER SAAD AL-HARIRI AND FOREIGN MINISTER GEBRAN BASSIL WAITING WITH THE RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS MORE OF RELATIVE OF THE VICTIMS WAITING AT THE GATE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SISTER OF LEBANESE WOUNDED NASSER BSHARA, THURAYA BSHARA, SAYING: "They first called us from Turkey and said everyone was injured and that they killed everyone. We thought no-one is alive. I immediately went to the airport, found a flight to Turkey and directly took it with my brother-in-law. We went, counting on God's will, we wanted to arrive before our parents wake up and see the news, and we found him (Nasser) in a hospital." VARIOUS OF THE PLANE CARRYING THE VICTIMS VARIOUS OF AMBULANCES CARRYING WOUNDED LEAVING THE AIRPORT VARIOUS OF BEIRUT RAFIC HARIRI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
- Embargoed: 17th January 2017 22:23
- Keywords: Lebanon Istanbul Turkey attack plane wounded victims relatives
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XE17WN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:A Lebanese plane carrying the bodies of victims of Istanbul's New Year's attack on a nightclub arrived on Monday (January 2), along with a number of wounded Lebanese citizens, to the capital Beirut, along with relatives.
People gathered in one assigned Beirut airport's hall waiting to receive the plane, which was carrying three bodies, bringing their relatives home. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri was present among the many officials who accompanied the families and friends of the dead and wounded.
Three Lebanese citizens, whose Lebanese foreign ministry named as Elias Wardini, Haykal Mousallem and Rita Shami, were among those killed in the attack that left at least 39 people dead. Many other Lebanese people were also wounded when a gunman opened fire on revellers at a packed nightclub on the shores of Istanbul's Bosphorus waterway.
"We condemn what happened and we hope this kind of thing never happens again, because there are many youth who are innocent victims, what more can I say," Elie Slaibi, business partner of Haykal Mousallem, said.
Thuraya Bshara, sister of Lebanese Nasser Bshara who was injured during the attack and came back on the plane, recalled the night when she got the news.
"They first called us from Turkey and said everyone was injured and that they killed everyone. We thought no-one is alive. I immediately went to the airport, found a flight to Turkey and directly took it with my brother-in-law. We went, counting on God's will, we wanted to arrive before our parents wake up and see the news, and we found him (Nasser) in a hospital," she said.
Lebanese media reported that some of the wounded did not come back on Monday's plane, staying in Istanbul instead due to their medical condition.
Elias Wardini, 26, a personal trainer, had posted a picture on Instagram a few hours before the attack, posing in the Istanbul snow with another Lebanese victim in her twenties, Shami.
Nationals of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Libya, Israel, a Turkish-Belgian dual citizen and a Franco-Tunisian woman were among those killed, officials said.
Islamic State claimed responsibility on Monday for the mass shooting, an attack carried out by a lone gunman who remains at large.
It described the Reina nightclub, where many foreigners as well as Turks were killed, as a gathering point for Christians celebrating their "apostate holiday". The attack, it said, was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.
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