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Istanbul nightclub IS gun attack suspect captured after two weeks on run


NewsHubThe suspected gunman who attacked an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve, killing 39 people, has been arrested by Turkish authorities.
Officials said on Tuesday that he is an Uzbekistan national who trained in Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters in Ankara that the man was being questioned by police and expressed hope that the interrogation would unveil the “forces” behind the attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State group.
“The vile terrorist who attacked the place of entertainment on New Year’s Eve and led to the loss of so many lives has been captured,” Mr Yildirim said.
He added: “What is important is for the suspect to be captured and for the forces behind it to be revealed. ”
The premier refused to give further details on the arrest or the investigation, saying authorities would provide specifics “in time”.
Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin said the attack suspect is an Uzbekistan national who trained in Afghanistan. He is believed to have entered Turkey in January 2016.
Mr Sahin said the man, captured late Monday, has confessed to carrying out the massacre and that his fingerprints matched those of the attacker.
The suspect, according to Mr Sahin, is a well-educated terrorist who speaks four languages and had clearly carried out the attack in the name of IS.
The statements come hours after police began questioning the suspect, who was identified in Turkish media reports as Abdulgadir Masharipov and was caught in a police operation at a luxury residential complex in Istanbul.
The state-run Anadolu Agency said a man from Kyrgyzstan and three women – from Somalia, Senegal and Egypt – were also detained in the raid, while the gunman’s four-year-old son was taken into protective custody.
IS has claimed responsibility for the nightclub massacre, saying the attack in the early hours of January 1 was in reprisal for Turkish military operations in northern Syria. The man identified as the suspect had been on the run since the attack.
Anadolu said police have also carried out raids on members of a suspected Uzbek IS cell in five Istanbul neighbourhoods, and detained several people.
Authorities had set up a 1,000-strong force to capture the gunman, Anadolu said.
Photographs from raids, widely published in the Turkish media, showed a bruised, black-haired man in a grey, bloodied shirt being held by his neck. NTV television said the gunman had resisted arrest.
Hundreds of people had gathered at the upmarket Reina nightclub to celebrate the end of a tumultuous 2016 only to become the first victims of 2017. The gunman shot a police officer and a civilian outside the club, before storming the premises.
Most of the dead in the attack on the club were foreign nationals, mainly from the Middle East.

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