3 Lebanese Killed, 4 Hurt in Istanbul Nightclub Attack

Medics carry a wounded person at the scene after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, early Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said that an armed assailant has opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year's celebrations. Turkish authorities have banned distribution of images relating to the Istanbul attack within Turkey.(IHA via AP)

Three Lebanese citizens were killed and four others were injured in the New Year’s Eve massacre at an Istanbul nightclub, Lebanon’s consul general in the Turkish city said on Sunday.

“After visiting Istanbul’s forensic department and after inspecting the bodies, Lebanon’s Consul General in Istanbul Hani Chemaitelli confirmed the death of the three Lebanese citizens Elias Wardini, Rita Chami and Haykal Musallem and the wounding of Francois al-Asmar, Nidal Bsherrawi, Bushra Doueihi and Melissa Baralardo,” Lebanon’s National News Agency reported.

“The staff of the consulate general are still visiting hospitals in the city of Istanbul to confirm that there are no other Lebanese casualties, at the instructions of Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil,” NNA added.

Wardini, 25, was confirmed dead earlier in the day after State Minister for Planning Affairs Michel Pharaon and MP Nadim Gemayel contacted sources in Turkey, who said that Wardini’s body was found in a hospital’s morgue.

Earlier media reports had said that Wardini escaped the attack after throwing himself into the Bosphorus Strait.

The wounded Bushra Doueihi is the daughter of Zgharta MP Estephan Doueihi. She was critically injured in the attack according to media reports.

Hassan Bsherrawi, brother of wounded Lebanese national Nidal Bsherrawi, said earlier in the day that “Nidal, Francois al-Asmar and Nasser Beshara are in a stable condition while the daughter of MP Estephan Doueihi is in a critical condition and is undergoing surgeries.”

Thirty-nine people, including many foreigners, were killed when a gunman went on a rampage at the Reina club, one of Istanbul’s most exclusive nightspots, where revelers were celebrating the New Year.