The Latest: Report: Gunman was on wanted list in Uzbekistan

AP News
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Posted: Jan 17, 2017 11:30 AM
The Latest: Report: Gunman was on wanted list in Uzbekistan

ISTANBUL (AP) — The Latest on the arrest of Istanbul nightclub gunman (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

Turkey's state-run news agency says the gunman who carried out the attack on the Istanbul nightclub was wanted in his home country of Uzbekistan for membership in a "terror organization."

Anadolu Agency, reporting from Uzbekistan's capital of Tashkent on Tuesday, said the alleged assailant left the country for Afghanistan six years ago.

The agency based its report on unnamed security sources and added that Uzbek authorities were sharing information with Turkey on the suspect, identified as Abdulkadir Masharipov.

Masharipov was detained in a police raid in Istanbul late Monday, more than two weeks after the New Year's attack on the upscale Reina nightclub that killed 39 people.

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5 p.m.

Neighbors of the Istanbul nightclub attacker were shocked to learn of his identity and find their building at the heart of a large-scale police operation.

Ali Haydar Demir says Tuesday he came out of his apartment when he heard the commotion only to be turned back by police officers who told him to close his door.

Turkish police late Monday captured the man who authorities say killed 39 people and wounded scores of others in a New Year's Eve attack on the Reina nightclub in Istanbul. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Demir, who lived on the same floor of the Istanbul complex as the alleged attacker, said he felt "very bad living in the same building with a person like that."

Another resident, Sezer Aras, described the situation as a nightmare. He told the AP "he was very close to us, but we had no idea."

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10:55 a.m.

Istanbul's governor says that the New Year's nightclub attack that killed 39 people was executed on behalf of the Islamic State group.

Vasip Sahin told reporters that "It is clear that this was carried out in the name of Daesh." He was using an Arabic acronym for the militant group.

Sahin also confirmed the identity of the suspected gunman, who is now in custody and being questioned, saying he is an Uzbekistan national who had trained in Afghanistan.

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10:45 a.m.

Istanbul's governor says that the captured nightclub attack suspect is an Uzbekistan national who trained in Afghanistan.

Gov. Vasip Sahin says that the gunman who carried out the New Year's attack is believed to have entered Turkey in January 2016.

Sahin says the suspect, captured late Monday, has confessed to carrying out the massacre, in which 39 people were killed. The governor says that the suspect's fingerprints matched those of the attacker.

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10:35 a.m.

Turkey's prime minister has confirmed that the gunman who carried out the deadly New Year's attack on an Istanbul nightclub has been detained.

Binali Yildirim told reporters in Ankara on Tuesday that the man was being questioned by police and expressed hope that the interrogation would unveil the "forces" behind the attack, which killed 39 people.

He wouldn't provide further details on the arrest or the investigation, saying authorities would provide details "in time."

Yildirim said that "the vile terrorist who attacked the place of entertainment on New Year's eve and led to the loss of so many lives has been captured."

He added: "What is important is for the suspect to be captured and for the power the forces behind it to be revealed."

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8:55 a.m.

Turkish media reports say police in Istanbul have begun questioning a suspected Islamic State militant accused of killing 39 people during a New Year's attack on an Istanbul nightclub.

The gunman, which media reports identified as Uzbekistan national Abdulgadir Masharipov, was caught late Monday in a police operation at a luxury residential complex in Istanbul. The state-run Anadolu Agency said a man from Kyrgyzstan and three women — from Somalia, Senegal and Egypt — were detained in the raid, while his 4-year old son was taken under protective custody.

Private NTV television said Masharipov was being questioned at Istanbul's police headquarters on Tuesday.

Anadolu said police have also carried out raids on members of a suspected Uzbek IS cell in five Istanbul neighborhoods, and detained several people.