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Istanbul Night Club Attack; North Korea Announces New Nuke Test Plans; Cities Around the World Ring in 2017. Aired 2-2:30a ET
Aired January 1, 2017 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hi, everyone, I'm Cyril Vanier, following breaking news out of Turkey at this hour. It's 10:00 am there local time in Istanbul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER (voice-over): The death toll in a shooting at an Istanbul night club has now risen to 39. This is the first terror attack of 2017. You can see gunshots ricocheting off a car in this video as a man approaches and enters the night club. He still has not been identified.
The Istanbul governor said a gunman shot a police officer guarding the club shortly after 1:00 am Sunday. Apparently that is then when he opened fire as hundreds of revelers were inside the club; 69 people have been wounded, many of the victims were foreign nationals.
You can see the pictures of the heavy police presence and ambulances outside the club. For more on the attacks, CNN Ian Lee joins us now from Istanbul.
Ian, what is the latest?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Police are focusing on this manhunt to find (INAUDIBLE) responsible (INAUDIBLE) reports --
VANIER: All right. We are having trouble with Ian's audio. We'll get back to Ian Lee from Istanbul in just a second.
But for more on the attacks for now, we spoke early with CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: There is an exceptional security presence; lots of extra police officers out, lots of high vigilance, lots of security, lots of checking of bags and still something quite disastrous and tragic happened.
It's the nature of urban environments these days. They are almost impossible to get perfectly secure.
And so Turkey will not only have to deal with the long-term issues they are facing with the Kurds as well as with ISIS but also the short-term sort of buttressing of defenses and minimizing their risk to not only their population but, as we know with this bar, international tourists.
The last thing Turkey wants is to continue to, in some ways, repel tourism to a country that needs it so badly.
VANIER: And, Juliette, for any of our viewers who might be unfamiliar with the security context in Turkey, I just want to remind them of what the last six months have been like in this country, just the last six months alone.
On August 18th, a series of bomb attacks, targeting security forces in the east of the country killed 12 people and wounded some 300 others. Just days later, a suicide bomber detonating explosives at a wedding party in Gaziantep -- that's Southern Turkey -- killing at least 53, injuring 100 others.
On September 12th now, 50 people were injured when suspected Kurdish militants detonated a bomb in the southeastern city of Van.
Then on October 9th, a bomb exploded outside a police station in Southeastern Turkey, killing 18 people.
And just last month a bomb targeting a police station killed nine people, injured over 100 others.
And this just tells you, gives you a sense of the alert level and the threat level in Turkey. This is just over the last six months. But we could have done the same thing over the last year and a half.
KAYYEM: That's right, so and then you want to add into the more political aspects of violence in Turkey right now, of course the coup attempt this summer outside that six-month range. But the death of the -- of the Russian ambassador in Turkey just last week --
KAYYEM: -- adds to the sense that the safety and security of those in the urban environment in Turkey is less than what might be acceptable. It certainly gives tremendous powers to Erdogan, who's been, let's just -- you know, to put it diplomatically, has been asserting those powers over the last couple of years over the media, over dissent.
And I think that will continue until there is both a better safety and security environment as well as a longer-term solution to the challenges they face, not just with the Kurds but with ISIS .
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Let's get the very latest reporting from the ground. Ian Lee is back with us.
Ian, what is the latest?
LEE: Cyril, right now there is a heavy police operation taking place, trying to find this man, who police say shot up this Reina night club. Still on the loose. Now local media is reporting from other eyewitnesses, saying there was multiple shooters.
That something that the police will be looking into. But right now they are only saying one person was involved in this killing, that -- that shooting that killed 39 people, injured 69.
I was able to --
LEE: -- talk to someone who was in the club when this happened. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We were having fun. At first, we thought it was a fight. Then there was a lot of gunfire. After the gunfire, everyone started to run toward the terrorist. We ran as well.
There was someone next to me who was shot and fell on the floor. We ran away and hid under the sofas; some of the people jumped into the Bosphorus. For 10 minutes, there was gunfire and, then for another five minutes, they were throwing bombs, fired a bit more and then left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: Cyril, behind me you have this police cordon and then, just further down the road, that is where the night club is. And we heard -- when we heard from the eyewitness, he said that some people jumped in the Bosphorus.
This club is on the edge of the Bosphorus. And to give you an idea of the desperation people were feeling, right now it is snowing, it is freezing, people so scared that they are willing to risk jumping into that cold water to get away from this gunman. A lot of terror tonight, last night, in that club.
VANIER: And, Ian, Turkey has been the target of so many attacks over the last year and a half, all types of targets.
What are these repeated attacks doing to people's mindset?
What is it like to live in Turkey at the moment?
LEE: Well, you know, last night, before this incident happened, you know, it's New Years Eve, so there was a heavy police presence all across the city. We were checked multiple times. Police would pat us down; they would check our bags, looking for anything that was suspicious.
And there were thoughts that last night someone could take advantage of it and obviously someone has. This is a city, this is a country that has been on edge. They've had multiple attacks within the past month. And people are nervous about being the victims of another attack.
And so last night, when normally people would be out in Taksim Square, the central square, celebrating the New Year, it was fairly quiet. Now the weather is bad but also there is just this heightened sense of security because of all the attacks that have happened.
VANIER: Ian Lee, reporting from Istanbul, Turkey, not far from the scene, the night club that came under attack. Thank you very much.
We are going to turn now to the other major story that we are following for you this hour. Breaking news out of North Korea. The country's leader says it's close to test launching an intercontinental ballistic missile.
In a New Year's Day speech, Kim Jong-un referred to North Korea as a nuclear and military power in the east. CNN's Saima Mohsin joins us now live from Seoul in South Korea.
Saima, North Korea regularly announces breakthroughs in its nuclear technology.
At the moment and as things stand, do we have an idea of how close they actually are to getting a nuclear weapon?
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Cyril, as you rightly point out, we've had a lot of these kind of affirmations before and now this time he's chosen his New Year's address, Kim Jong-un, to announce being close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile, which is incredibly worrying.
How close are they?
Well, there is just to way to independently verify this. We have to go by what experts or defectors or intel tells us. Now just a few days ago, the most senior diplomatic defector from North to South Korea, the deputy ambassador to North Korea's embassy in London, spoke to South Korean media, the first time since he escaped, saying that Kim Jong-un was forging ahead and is forging ahead with his nuclear ambitions.
And he's aiming to complete all weapons development by the end of this year, 2017.
So if you take that, what he's telling us and now what we are hearing today, then I'm sure that experts around the world and intelligence in Washington, D.C., and here in Seoul will be incredibly worried about this announcement.
And let's not forget, Cyril, that in February this year, North Korea launched a satellite into the sky, yes, that is in February. And that was seen as a test for a long-range missile.
And so that is incredibly worrying, too, if he's saying that they are close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile. And we've seen these various tests this year in 2016, two nuclear tests in 2016, then this is cause for concern -- Cyril.
VANIER: All right, Saima Mohsin, reporting live from Seoul in South Korea. Thank you very much.
Now the U.N. Security Council is welcoming a new cease-fire in Syria. The resolution unanimously supports --
VANIER: -- the nationwide truce, which was negotiated by Russia and Turkey. There have been a few dozen violations to the cease-fire, however. The rebel groups now threatening to abandon the true if those violations continue.
Rebels say the government is taking advantage of the cease-fire to attack areas that are still under their control.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has doubts about Russian involvement in election hacking.
Earlier he told reporters, "Well, I just want them to be sure, because it's a pretty serious charge. And I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster and they were wrong. And so I want them to be sure. I think it's unfair if they don't know. And I know a lot about hacking. Hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. I also know things that other people do not know. And so they cannot be sure of the situation."
And, finally, the clock is ticking down on New Year's celebrations around the world one zone at a time. Let's bring you some sense of what was happening around the world overnight.
This was New York City at midnight. Thousands of people crowded into Times Square for the annual party. And former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, just an hour out of his previous job, was given the honor of bringing down the iconic ball.
This was the scene several hours earlier along the River Thames in London as midnight arrived there. Tickets for the annual event were totally sold out.
And here we have Paris; fireworks lit up the Arc de Triomphe, thousands of people packing the Champs-Elysees to watch and cheer as they do every year.
Here is the Russian capital now, marking the arrival of the New Year. Fireworks near the Kremlin illuminated the Moscow River.
And Australia, thunderous display of pyrotechnics there over the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge. That show included tributes to the late musicians Prince and David Bowie.
Not to be outdone, Hong Kong pulled out all the stops to light up Victoria Harbor as the city rang in 2017. Thousands of spectators there packing the shoreline for that celebration.
Meanwhile, take a look at midnight in Taiwan. Crowds were dazzled by an elaborate show from the Taipei 101 skyscraper to the dramatic music of Strauss.
That's it from us. Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" is next.