17 Jan 2017

Istanbul nightclub attack suspect captured - reports

12:45 pm on 17 January 2017

Authorities in have caught a man they suspect of carrying out a deadly New Year's Eve attack in an Istanbul nightclub, Turkish media say.

Turkish special force police officers and ambulances are seen at the site of an armed attack January 1, 2017 in Istanbul.

Turkish special force police officers and ambulances at the nightclub on New Year's Eve. Photo: AFP

The attacker shot his way into the exclusive Reina nightclub, killing 39 people.

Turkish police released an image of the man arrested in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul. They said he was found in an apartment, his his four-year-old son.

Turkish police released an image of the man arrested in an apartment in the Esenyurt district. Photo: AFP

The gunman opened fire with an automatic rifle, reloading his weapon half a dozen times and shooting the wounded as they lay on the ground.

Turks, as well as visitors from several Arab nations, India and Canada, were among those killed in the attack.

Police arrested a man in the city's Esenyurt district, according to the Hurriyet newspaper website and other media report.

The man, who media quoted police as saying operated under the cover name Ebu Muhammed Horasani, was described as being of Uzbek origin by the Haberturk website.

There were three people in the apartment where he was caught, the home of a Kyrgyz friend of his. He went there three days earlier, Haberturk said.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, five people were detained in the operation, including the alleged perpetrator, a man of Kyrgyz origin, and three women. It said simultaneous raids were being conducted on other cells linked to the group.

Dozens of people have previously been detained in connection with the attack, for which Islamic State claimed responsibility, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.

Turkish media say the suspect had rented a flat in the central Turkish city of Konya with a woman believed to be his wife and two children. He arrived in Istanbul on 15 December, according to the Hurriyet newspaper's sources.

- Reuters / BBC