ISTANBUL, Turkey, Jan. 3 (UPI) — Turkish authorities said 12 people have been arrested over the Reina nightclub New Year’s Eve massacre as investigators close in on identifying the gunman.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said investigators retrieved the gunman’s fingerprints and a basic description, adding that he would be identified «speedily. » Police have released images of the suspect, who was not named by officials.
TRT World news channel reported the suspected gunman’s name is Lakhe Mashrapov, a 28-year-old from Kyrgyzstan, by comparing the photo provided by police with a passport photo.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Reina nightclub attack in which 39 people died, calling the gunman a «heroic soldier of the caliphate» who carried out the massacre in revenge for Turkey’s operations in Syria.
Police released «selfie» video which show the suspected gunman filming himself while walking around the popular tourist destination of Taksim Square. Authorities did not specify how the video was obtained or when it was filmed.