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Iran Press TV

Istanbul attacker nabbed, confesses to massacre: Turkish authorities

Iran Press TV

Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:0AM

Turkish authorities have announced they have captured the gunman who carried out a gruesome attack at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day, saying he has confessed to staging the massacre.

The attack saw a lone gunman making his way into the upscale club after the inauguration of the New Year and starting to mow down revelers. Thirty nine people were killed and nearly 70 others injured in the shooting spree.

The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is mainly active in Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said "the vile terrorist" had been captured earlier in the day and was being questioned by police.

The manhunt, in which 1,000 security personnel were reportedly involved, took two weeks to bear fruits.

Media outlets have identified the suspect as Abdulgadir Masharipov, saying he had been seized during a raid against a luxury residential complex in Istanbul's Esenyurt district and that he had put up resistance during the operation.

Also arrested during the operation were a Kyrgyz male and three women – from Somalia, Senegal and Egypt, reports said. The main suspect had been living in the apartment rented in the name of the Kyrgyz arrestee. The suspect's four-year-old son was also found on the premises and has been placed in protective custody.

An Uzbek, trained in Afghanistan

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin said the suspect had admitted to staging the carnage and that his fingerprints matched those of the attacker.

Sahin added that the suspect is an Uzbekistani national, who had been trained in handling weaponry in Afghanistan.

Following the incident, reports surfaced alleging that the assailant had entered Turkey via Syria last year.

According to the governor, the detainee is a well-educated terrorist, who speaks four languages and clearly carried out the attack in the name of Daesh.

Other reports said that the suspect had been located three days earlier and had been under surveillance so his contacts could be identified.

He is also said to have fought for Daesh in Syria.

Turkey's Anadolu news agency said the far-and-wide operation to catch him had also seen police swooping on members of a suspected Uzbek Daesh cell in five Istanbul neighborhoods and detaining several people.

A total of 35 people had already been detained in relation to the bloody attack, the latest of whom being two Chinese people from the Uighur community.

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