Middle East News

Istanbul nightclub where 39 killed unexpectedly demolished

The Reina nightclub was demolished by order of the Istanbul Municipality Board on Monday, May 22, over five months after a shooting on that site.

A once-popular Istanbul nightclub where 39 people were killed was demolished on Monday, May 22 by order of the city’s municipal board.

Islamic State claimed the New Year’s Eve shooting at the Reina nightclub that killed 39 people and injured nearly 70 others.

The Istanbul Municipal Board said in a statement after the demolition said that certain sections of the site weren’t built to code. It said “the demolition process was completed today for the parts of the building that were breaching the law,” but it wasn’t clear whether it was the club or several restaurants also on the site that were in violation.

Reports from the state-run Anadolu Agency and BBC Turkce claim that Reina’s employees weren’t informed and expected that the club would reopen.

Deadly attack

Islamic State claimed the attack was in response to Turkey’s military actions in Syria.

The accused gunman, Abdulkadir Masharipov, was arrested on January 16 in Istanbul.

According to Hurriyet news, Masharipov told police he was directed to stage an attack in Taksim Square but chose Rania because it had fewer security measures. The 34-year old was reportedly wanted in his native country of Uzbekistan and had left there six years prior to train in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also was reported to have trained with al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Masharipov’s trial is expected to begin on December 11 of this year.

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