ISTANBUL: Turkey has established the identity of the gunman who killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Day, its foreign minister said on Wednesday, as police detained suspected Islamic State members of Central Asian and North African origin.
In an interview with the state-run Anadolu news agency, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave no further details about the gunman, whom Turkish officials have not named.
The attacker shot his way into the exclusive Reina nightclub on Sunday, then 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 the dead. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.
Turkish media reports have said the attacker is believed to be an ethnic Uighur, possibly from Kyrgyzstan. He appeared to have been well-versed in guerrilla warfare and may have trained in Syria, according to one security source. Police in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir said they had detained 20 suspected Islamic State militants thought to be of Central Asian and North African origin in raids on three addresses. Agencies
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