- Title: Wounded man recounts how he survived attack at Istanbul nightclub
- Date: 2nd January 2017
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JANUARY 2, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIORS OF OKMEYDANI HOSPITAL VARIOUS SIGNS OF EMERGENCY SERVICE AND HOSPITAL BUILDINGS WOUNDED MAN FROM LEBANON, FRANCOIS AL-ASMAR, LAYING IN HIS HOSPITAL BED (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) WOUNDED LEBANESE MAN IN ATTACK, FRANCOIS AL-ASMAR, SAYING: "He fired one shot on its own, so we thought - I thought - it was some angry or drunk man who shot from his gun. But a few seconds later, we heard a machine gun. We were already lying on the floor from the first shot. I was hiding behind the table, sitting on the floor, but my shoulder must have maybe been exposed. He was shooting us on the floor, he wasn't shooting in the air but towards the floor where we were laying. If I was sleeping with my whole body on the floor, I would have been shot all along my body. I was actually sitting, I was directly shot, it wasn't a long time. When I was shot, I had to lay my body... I acted dead so he doesn't continue shooting me." MEDICAL BRACE HOLDING ASMAR'S ARM (SOUNDBITE) (English) WOUNDED LEBANESE MAN IN THE ATTACK, FRANCOIS AL-ASMAR, SAYING: "I was in the party and I was drinking and... in a precise moment, somebody came and shot everyone in the club and we were sleeping on the floor, something like that, thank God we are safe now and we are good." MORE OF ASMAR'S WOUNDED ARM MORE OF ASMAR LAYING IN HOSPITAL BED SIGN OUTSIDE HOSPITAL HOSPITAL EXTERIOR
- Embargoed: 17th January 2017 06:52
- Keywords: Turkey Istanbul hospital injured nightclub attack
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XDZ41Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Lebanese man, Francois Al-Asmar, who was wounded in an attack on an Istanbul nightclub said on Monday (January 2) he survived by pretending to be dead.
A gunman opened fire on New Year revellers at a packed nightclub on the shores of Istanbul's Bosphorus waterway on Sunday (January 2) killing at least 39 people, including many foreigners, then fled the scene.
Some people jumped into the Bosphorus to save themselves after the attacker began shooting at random in the Reina nightclub just over an hour into the New Year.
Al-Asmar, who was in Turkey for both work and pleasure, was not lucky enough to reach the terrace.
"I was hiding behind the table, sitting on the floor, but my shoulder must have maybe been exposed. He was shooting us on the floor, he wasn't shooting in the air but towards the floor where we were laying," he said, adding when he was shot he had to stand still and pretend to be dead.
The attack shook NATO member Turkey as it tries to recover from a failed July coup and a series of deadly bombings in cities including Istanbul and the capital Ankara, some blamed on Islamic State and others claimed by Kurdish militants.
Security services had been on alert across Europe for New Year celebrations following an attack on a Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people. Only days ago, an online message from a pro-Islamic State group called for attacks by "lone wolves" on "celebrations, gatherings and clubs".
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