One person was reportedly killed, as gunshots were reported at the Catholic church of Santa Maria in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday morning.
According to Turkish media, the shooting occurred around 11:40 am during the Sunday mass service, and the perpetrators are believed to be two individuals. The incident took place at an Italian church in the Sariyer district.
Sarıyer’de bulunan Santa Maria İtalyan Kilisesi’nde Pazar ayini sırasında silahlı saldırı gerçekleşti.
Olay yerine çok sayıda polis ve sağlık ekibi sevk edildi. (İHA) pic.twitter.com/sgeAz3h3SA
— Gündem 7×24 (@gundem7x24) January 28, 2024
According to the Turkish outlet T24, the two assailants entered the church on the European side of the Bosphorus, wearing full-face masks to conceal their identities, and opened fire. The parishioners attending the liturgy immediately dropped to the floor to take cover, reports say. A strong police force and ambulances have rushed to the scene.
In a post on the social media platform “X” (formerly Twitter) the Turkish Interior Minister stated: “We condemn the heinous attack”.
The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, also condemned the tragic incident and added, “We are monitoring the situation with our embassy and consulate; I am confident that the Turkish authorities will apprehend those responsible.”