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Belarusian leader calls for decisive response to Istanbul terror attack

January 01, 23:12 UTC+3 MINSK

"What happened in Istanbul confirms that there is no place to radical groups and their ideology in a civilized society. Such crimes demand a decisive and joint response," Alexander Lukashenko stressed

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© EPA/DENIZ TOPRAK

MINSK, January 1. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has conveyed condolences to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, relatives and friends of those killed in the terror attack in Istanbul, the presidential press service said on Sunday.

"What happened in Istanbul confirms that there is no place to radical groups and their ideology in a civilized society. Such crimes demand a decisive and joint response," Lukashenko stressed.

Lukashenko said the Belarusian citizens were shocked by the news that the civilians in Istanbul were attacked on New Year’s day. "The cynicism and cruelty of the crime is shocking," the statement said. The president stressed that Belarus "was and will remain with Turkey in the fight against terrorism."

At least 39 people, including 16 foreigners, were killed when a gunman opened fire in Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortakoy district during New Year’s celebrations. Among those killed are the citizens of France, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya and Israel, Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya said. A total of 65 people have been hospitalized and four of them are in critical condition, Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag said.

CCTV footage shows the assailant wore a Santa Claus hat. The terrorist managed to run away and an operation to detain him is ongoing.

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