Europe

The Latest: Islamic State claims Istanbul nightclub attack

  • Turkish women pray after they left carnations near the scene, a day after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.  A manhunt is on in Turkey as authorities work to identify the assailant who killed dozens of people in a crowded Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations Sunday. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

    Turkish women pray after they left carnations near the scene, a day after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. A manhunt is on in Turkey as authorities work to identify the assailant who killed dozens of people in a crowded Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations Sunday. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Turkish woman holds carnations at a security barricade near the scene, a day after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. A manhunt is on in Turkey as authorities work to identify the assailant who killed dozens of people in a crowded Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations Sunday. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

    A Turkish woman holds carnations at a security barricade near the scene, a day after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. A manhunt is on in Turkey as authorities work to identify the assailant who killed dozens of people in a crowded Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations Sunday. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkish police officers stand guard outside the scene a day after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.  A manhunt is on in Turkey as authorities work to identify the assailant who killed dozens of people in a crowded Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations Sunday. (AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal)

    Turkish police officers stand guard outside the scene a day after an attack at a popular nightclub in Istanbul, Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. A manhunt is on in Turkey as authorities work to identify the assailant who killed dozens of people in a crowded Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations Sunday. (AP Photo/Halit Onur Sandal)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the Istanbul nightclub attack (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Istanbul shooting that killed 39 people and wounded scores of others.

The IS-linked Aamaq News Agency said the New Year's Eve attack was carried by a "heroic soldier of the caliphate who attacked the most famous nightclub where Christians were celebrating their pagan feast."

It said the man opened fire from an automatic rifle in "revenge for God's religion and in response to the orders" of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The group described Turkey as "the servant of the cross."

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10:10 a.m.

Turkish media reports say that authorities believe that the Islamic State group is behind the attack on a popular Istanbul nightclub during New Year's celebrations.

Hurriyet and Karar newspaper reports Monday cited unnamed security officials saying that authorities have determined that the gunman who killed 39 people comes from a Central Asian nation and is believed to be either from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan.

Police had also established similarities with the high-casualty attack at Ataturk Airport in June and was investigating whether the same IS cell carried out both attacks.

The gunman, who is still at large, killed a policeman and another man outside the Reina club in the early hours of 2017 before firing at people partying inside.

Nearly two-thirds of the dead were foreigners, many from the Middle East.