Turkish reports have identified the man believed to be behind the deadly New Year’s Eve shooting at an Istanbul nightclub as a 28-year-old Kyrgyzstan national.
The BBC report that police are hunting Iakhe Mashrapov, who is thought to have arrived in Turkey from Syria in November with his wife and two children in order not to attract attention, and his family have now been detained.
Reports also claim Mashrapov fought for IS in Syria at one time prior to the shooting.
Since the attack, which claimed at least 39 lives and left dozens injured, police have arrested at least eight suspects believed to have been associated with the killer. Unconfirmed reports put that figure as high as 12 suspects.
— News_Executive (@News_Executive) January 3, 2017
Turkish media, including the state-run Anadolu Agency, have released a video which shows a man, who they said was the gunman, filming himself with a cell phone at Taksim Square.
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It was not immediately clear if it was filmed before or after the New Year’s massacre but several media outlets claimed to have received the clip from the police.
However, the press office of the Istanbul police denied being the source of the footage.
Police in Istanbul earlier released security camera pictures of the suspect and said they had obtained fingerprints from the gun left behind at the club.
On Monday, eight people were detained in connection to the attack but police stressed the gunman was not one of them.
Earlier, Turkish media reports said that Turkish authorities believed the gunman was likely to be from either from Uzbekistan or Kyrgyzstan.
Turkey tells IS they will ‘enter their lair’
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said it was hoped not only the gunman would be discovered but also “his connections and those who gave him support inside and outside the club”.
Mr Kurtulmus said the attack on the crowd of 600 at the Reina club in the early hours of 2017 was a message from extremist organisations that they intend to continue to be a “scourge” against Turkey in the new year.
He also said it was intended as a response to Turkey’s “successful and determined” military operation against IS in Syria.
“Wherever they may hide in 2017, we will enter their lair… With the will of God, with the support of our people, with all our national capacity, we will bring them to their knees and give them all the necessary response,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s office has imposed a temporary blackout on coverage of the attack, citing public order and national security reasons.
Nearly two-thirds of the dead in the upscale club, which is frequented by local celebrities, were foreigners, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency said.
Many of them hailed from the Middle East.