Some of the 39 killed in New Year’s terror attack at Istanbul nightclub identified

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ISTANBUL — ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack in which at least 39 people were killed and nearly 70 injured. The the mass shooting took place in front of and inside a popular Istanbul nightclub in the first hours of New Year’s Day.

The victims included citizens of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, France, Tunisia, India, Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, Canada, Israel, Syria, Belgium, Germany and Russia.

Among them was a police officer and a security guard employed to keep revelers safe, a tour guide escorting visitors during a night on the town and young adults who had traveled to Turkey for the holidays.

Here’s a look at what is known so far about the victims and their nationalities:

Lubna Ghasnawi, 34, of Saudi Arabia

Lubna Ghasnawi was among the glamorous crowds of young partygoers gathered to ring in 2017.

The 34-year-old entrepreneur was one of seven victims from Saudi Arabia who had traveled to Istanbul to attend New Year’s festivities, according to Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu.

Ghashwani worked full-time as a communications manager for one of Saudi Arabia’s largest banks and also co-owned a start-up with her sister called Exclusave Card, the first student discount card in Saudi Arabia.

A friend of Gashwani described her as a “torch of energy.”

“She was an optimist and loved going to new places … laughter and happiness filled whatever place she went to,” Seham al-Zahrani told CNN. “She was very ambitious and inspiring.”

Leanne Nasser, 18, citizen of Israel

Leanne Nassar, a Palestinian from the town of Tira, begged her parents to let her go to Istanbul to celebrate New Year’s Eve with three friends. She had never before traveled abroad. At first her father refused to let her go. But her aunt, Layal Masarweh, intervened on her behalf.

“Her father was totally against that,” Masarweh, who helped convince Nassar’s father to let her go, told CNN. “He was saying that Istanbul is too dangerous and that she should not go at all. But she insisted, saying that nothing will happen to her.”

Nassar, 18, had finished high school in June and had big plans for her future. She worked at a dental clinic and wanted to become a dentist herself one day.

“I cannot forgive myself,” Masarweh said. “I wish I was with her to defend her or do anything to save her life. I wish they took my soul and gave it to her.”

Khushi Shah, Indian fashion designer

Khushi Shah, a young Indian fashion designer based in Mumbai, was also killed in the New Year’s Eve attack. Shah, who had started her own fashion label, KhushiZ, had traveled to Istanbul for work three days before the deadly assault.

Shah’s older brother, Akshay Shah, and her cousin, Hiren Chawra, were on their way to Istanbul to identify and repatriate her body, Shah’s cousin Priyanka Shah told CNN on Monday.

Abis Rizvi, 49, Indian film producer

Abis Rizvi, a budding director and film producer from Mumbai, was also killed in the attack, according to the Twitter account of Indian Minister of External Affairs Shushma Swaraj.

He was known for writing, producing and directing Bollywood movie “Roar: The Tigers of Sunderbans” in 2014, aimed at spreading awareness about tigers.

Rizvi was the director and CEO of Rizvi Group of companies, according to the website of the company, which is involved in the real estate, education and entertainment businesses.

“We are extremely heart broken and devastated to announce the sudden demise of Abis Rizvi. May his soul rest in peace,” the film company Rizvi worked for posted on Facebook.

Condolences poured in from Bollywood after news of Rizvi’s death broke, with actors and directors sharing messages of grief.

“Devastated by the death of my friend #AbisRizvi in the dastardly terrorist attack this morning in an #Istanbul nightclub,” Bollywood actor Jaaved Jaaferi tweeted.

Pooja Bhatt, an Indian filmmaker and actress, tweeted: “Devastated to hear that our friend #AbisRizvi was shot dead in the Istanbul nightclub attack. My heart goes out to his family. RIP.”

Fatih Cakmak, 32, Turkish security guard

A Turkish security guard who was among the first to die in Sunday’s attack had narrowly escaped a double bombing in the city just three weeks earlier.

Fatih Cakmak had considered himself lucky after surviving the attack on December 10 outside Istanbul’s Vodafone Arena, where he was working security for a football match.

His father, Hassan Cakmak, said he is stunned that he survived his son, who was 32 years old.

“It was just a regular day. He lived at home. He went to work and now he’s gone,” Hassan told CNN at his son’s funeral in Istanbul’s Bagcilar neighborhood on Monday.

Ilyas Tas, owner of Favori Vip, the security company that Cakmak worked for, posted two photos of his former employee and friend on his Facebook page, writing that he “felt broken.”

“When the attack happened last night, I heard it from other friends. I called Fatih till 5 am and his phone was ringing but he wasn’t answering. I was so upset. It really hurt me,” Tas told CNN. “Fatih was really great at his job. He was quiet and calm. Everybody loved him so much, that is why his funeral was so crowded.”

Mehmet Kerim Akyil, 23, Belgian-Turkish citizen

Another victim, Kerim Akyil, had dual Belgian-Turkish citizenship, according to Anadolu and Belgian officials.

Residents in the Belgian town of Houthalen-Helchteren, where he lived, gathered on Monday for a candlelit vigil to honor the 23-year-old. Houthalen-Helchteren Mayor Alain Yzermans posted a statement on Facebook expressing sympathy for Akyil’s family.

Akyil’s father, Ali Akyil, told state-run Anadolu news agency that they were a Turkish family who loved their country.

Rita Chami, Lebanese national

Lebanon and Iraq each lost three citizens, Anadolu reported. The family of Lebanese national Rita Chami announced her death, her brother Haitham Chami told the National News Agency (NNA).

Elias Wardini, Lebanese national

The Lebanese General Consul in Istanbul also confirmed the deaths of Elias Wardini and a third victim, Haikal Mussalem, NNA reported. According to the NNA, Planning Affairs Minister Michel Pharaon informed Wardini’s family of his death on Sunday.

Burak Yildiz, 22, Turkish policeman

A police officer was among the dead, said Ali Seker, a parliament member in Istanbul, according to Anadolu.

Burhanettin Kocamaz, mayor of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, confirmed his identity as Burak Yildiz. The 22-year-old was the youngest of three children and his brother is an officer in Istanbul, Anadolu reported. Many left condolences on his Instagram page.

He had been on the force for 1 1/2 years.

Bulent Sirvan Osman, 38, of Iraq

Bulent Sirvan Osman, 38, was a married father of two from Erbil, Iraq. He was in Istanbul for business, according to Anadolu.

Abdullah Ahmed Abbolos, 32, of Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Ahmed Abbolos was a 32-year-old Palestinian living in Saudi Arabia. He had come to Istanbul to celebrate the new year, Anadolu reported.

Hatice Karcilar, 29, of Turkey

Hatice Karcilar, a 29-year-old private security guard, was among the Turkish victims of the attack, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. She is survived by her husband and a 3-year-old daughter, it said.

Ayhan Arik, 47, of Turkey

Ayhan Arik, a 47-year-old Turkish travel agent and a father of two, was shot in the head outside the club, reported the private Dogan news agency.

Three victims from Lebanon

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry identified three of its citizens among the dead as Elias Wardini, Rita Shami and Haikal Musalam. The wounded included Bushra El Douaihy, the daughter of parliament member Estephan El Douaihy, it said.

One French victim

France’s foreign minister says one French citizen was killed and three others wounded in the shooting.

Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement that a woman with both French and Tunisian citizenship died in the attack early Sunday. The woman’s Tunisian husband also died, he said.

A wounded man from the United States
The U.S. State Department confirmed that a 35-year-old Delaware businessman originally from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, wounded in the attack.

William Jacob Raak told the Dogan news agency that he was in the club with nine people, seven of whom were shot. Raak suffered a leg wound.

William Jacob Raak told NBC News that he stayed silent and motionless during the attack at a popular nightclub, even after being struck.

“When he shot me I didn’t move — I just let him shoot me,” he told NBC. “I was shot when I was already on the ground. He was shooting people that he had already shot.”

Seven victims from Saudi Arabia

Dubai-based broadcaster Al Arabiya reported that seven people from Saudi Arabia were killed and 10 were wounded in the attack.

Two victims from Germany

Two people from Bavaria are among the dead, according to Germany’s Foreign Ministry.

Spokesman Martin Schaefer declined to name them, but said it appeared one was a German-Turkish dual citizen and the other was believed to have had only Turkish nationality. Three German citizens were wounded in the attack, he said.

Two victims from Jordan

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry said two of its citizens were killed and six were wounded in the attack.

One Kuwaiti victim

Kuwait’s Consul-General Mohammad Fahad al-Mohammad said one Kuwaiti was killed and five others were wounded in the shooting.