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Main suspected of Istanbul nightclub attack held  

17 Jan, 2017 12:02:24

International Desk: Turkish police have arrested the main suspect in the New Year's Eve attack on an exclusive nightclub in Istanbul after a huge manhunt.

Abdulkadir Masharipov is believed to have mounted the assault on the Reina club which left 39 people dead.

The suspect was captured in a special operations police raid on a house in Istanbul's Esenyurt district, private NTV television reported. The broadcaster said he had been staying in the house belonging to a friend from Kyrgyzstan.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the nightclub massacre, saying the attack in the first hours of Jan. 1 was in reprisal for Turkish military operations in northern Syria. The man identified as the suspect had been on the run since the attack.

Hurriyet newspaper and other media have identified the gunman as Abdulkadir Masharipov, an Uzbekistan national. The suspect was to undergo medical checks before being taken to police headquarters for questioning, the paper said in its online edition.

Dogan news agency published what it said was the first image of the attacker. It showed a bruised, black-haired man in a grey, bloodied shirt being held by his neck. Private NTV television said the gunman had resisted arrest.

NTV reported that the alleged gunman's Kyrgyz friend and three other people also were detained. His 4-year-old child, who was with him at the home, was taken into protective custody.

Hurriyet newspaper said the alleged gunman's wife and 1-year old daughter were caught in a police operation on Jan. 12.

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