Casablanca – A Moroccan who survived Istanbul terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve gives a detailed account of the attack and says there were two shooters involved.
Sofia Nasslahsen, a Moroccan woman who survived the deadly shootings at high-end restaurant, the Reina on New Year’s Eve posted a video on her Facebook account where she gave a comprehensive description of the mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 39 people and wounded many, including 4 Moroccans.
“At exactly 10:30 pm I was there, with my cousin and friend, everything was good and everyone was happy” Nasslahsen began her account adding that everything went great even after midnight.
“At 1:15 pm exactly, those terrorists or ISIS members came in, some people heard them saying ‘Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!’ near the restaurant. They came toward the restaurant and began shooting people everywhere, everywhere, left and right,” recalled Nasslahsen, with anxiety still clinging to her face.
She added that there was immense panic and horror at the restaurant and people began flocking toward the terrace, located outside, where she sat with her cousin and friends.
“There was a woman holding a Kalashnikov and dressed entirely in black. She started shooting people. Everyone was on the floor, some on top of others.” She noted that there was a hysterical panic among the people who had to feign death in order not to be targeted by the terrorists.
Nasslahsen said there were two people and “not only one like they say in TV”, who were throwing gas bombs at people.
Sofia said she lost consciousness for about one hour when one of the gas bombs landed near her head. When she regained consciousness again, the “attackers were still there shooting people”.
She stated that the armed couple kept going out of the restaurants and back again while the Turkish police came only one hour and a half after shooting began.
“The problem is that the police stayed outside. They couldn’t control the situation because they were afraid that they [shooters] might have bombs,” Sofia said.
Sofia added that when the police finally came in people were still afraid because they had not caught the attackers yet.
The survivor and her friend left to the police station whereas her cousin received two bullets, “one in the ankle and another in the knee.”
Sofia said the survivors received a “bad treatment at the police station.”
“We remained at the police station for 10 hours. They treated us very badly. While some people were fainting and other having panic attacks, the police were very cold,” she said.