- By Anu Begum
Reactions of shock as Istanbul massacre suspect identified
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The suspect behind the New Year’s celebrations nightclub attack in Istanbul, Turkey, has been identified by Turkish media as a 28-year-old from Kyrgyzstan.
Initially it was thought to have been an attack carried out by either Da’ish Al-Dawla or Kurdish terrorists both of whom have killed hundreds on Turkish citizens in recent similar attacks.
According to local media reports the suspect is said to have entered Turkey in November 2016 and stayed in the central Turkish city of Konya.
However authorities have not publicly identified him, and police denied that Kyrgyz passport information circulating in Turkish media belonged to the gunman.
Officially the suspect’s background has NOT been confirmed.
Kyrgyzstan’s security service said on Tuesday it was checking reports a Kyrgyz citizen was involved in the attack early hours on New Year’s Day and that it was cooperating with Turkish authorities.
The gunman, who remains at large, shot dead 39 people at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul as they celebrated the New Year.
CNN Turk said the suspect was believed to be of Kyrgyz origin. The Kyrgyz security service gave no further details.
Turkish state media aired new footage on Tuesday showing a grim selfie video of a suspect as he circles Istanbul’s most famous square, Taksim square.
The camera never leaves the man’s unsmiling face as he walks through Taksim square, one of Istanbul’s prime tourist spots, during the 44-second video broadcast Tuesday on state-run Anadolu television and other media.
It was not immediately clear if it was filmed before or after the New Year’s massacre at the Reina nightclub, or how the footage was obtained.
Turkey has detained more than a dozen people in relation to the attack, including two foreigners at an airport on Tuesday morning.
There is large scale mourning and speculation across the Turkish state.
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