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Istanbul police catch attacker on nightclub

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-17 09:07

Istanbul police catch attacker on nightclub

Police officers take security measures as Abdulgadir Masharipov the main suspect behind the deadly attack on an Istanbul nightclub during new year's celebrations was captured during a police operation on a residence in Istanbul's Esenyurt district on January 17, 2017 in Turkey. [Photo/IC]

ISTANBUL - Istanbul police on Monday night captured the gunman who launched a shooting spree at a nightclub in the city on New Year's Day, killing 39 people, local media reported.

The gunman, who has been on the run for 17 days, was caught unharmed at the apartment of a friend in the district of Esenyurt in a police operation, the Hurriyet daily said.

NTV said the friend, a Kyrgyz citizen, and three women were detained along with the gunman, the daily said.

Police have identified the gunman as Abdulgadir Masharipov, a Uzbek national, who resisted during the police operation and was found with his 4-year-old son, NTV said.

Masharipov will undergo a medical examination before being handed over to the counterterrorism unit for investigation, the reports said.

The militant stormed into Reina nightclub in central Istanbul soon after the New Year was in, shot dead 39 and wounded 69 others in a 7-minute fire, and managed to escape to his apartment and run away with his son, according to press reports.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting, while Turkish police have detained a total of 35 suspects in operations across the country, media reports said.

Mete Yarar, a security analyst, hailed Masharipov's capture as a big success.

"So the police would be able to reveal all the motives behind the Reina attack as well as all his connections," he told CNNTurk.

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