Turkish police have arrested the main suspect in the New Year’s Eve attack on a nightclub in Istanbul after a manhunt lasting more than two weeks.
Abdulkadir Masharipov is believed to have opened fire at Reina nightclub, killing 39 and wounding 69 others.
The city’s governer, Vasip Sahin, said the suspect had confessed to the attack and that his fingerprints matched those found at the scene.
According to local media, the Uzbek national was arrested after a raid on a home in the Istanbul’s Esenyurt district. He was reportedly found with his four-year-old son.
On January 1, the attacker shot his way into the nightclub before opening fire with an automatic rifle, reloading his weapon half a dozen times.
He fired randomly at people celebrating the new year and shot the wounded laying on the ground.
So-called Islamic State (IS) said it was behind the attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.
Citizens of Israel, France, Canada Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Belgium, Jordan and Saudi Arabia were among the victims. Dozens more were injured.
Numan Kurtulmus, the Turkish deputy prime minister, today congratulated police on capturing the suspect to whom he referred as ‘the perpetrator’.
“I congratulate our police who caught the perpetrator of the Ortakoy massacre,” Kurtulmus said on Twitter. “Our war with terror and the powers behind it will continue to the end.”
Ortaköy'deki katliamın failini yakalayan polisimizi tebrik ediyorum. Terör ve arkasındaki güçlerle savaşımız sonuna kadar devam edecek.
— Numan KURTULMUŞ (@NumanKurtulmus) January 17, 2017
According to the BBC, the suspect was trained in Afghanistan.
Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families.