- The New Year’s Eve Istanbul nightclub attacker has been caught in the city
- The main suspect in the attack on Reina nightclub was arrested on Monday
- A photograph shows the moment he was apprehended with blood on his face
The suspected New Year’s Eve Istanbul nightclub attacker who police believe killed 39 people was today arrested by Turkish security forces.
According to Turkish media, the main suspect in the attack on Reina nightclub was apprehended in Istanbul late on Monday.
Abdulkadir Masharipov was reportedly caught in his friend’s house in Esenyurt district of the city – 25 miles from where the brutal attack took place.
A photograph shows the moment Abdulkadir Masharipov was arrested in Istanbul, with blood on his face and t-shirt (left). Police were hunting the main suspect (right)
The alleged attacker entered the exclusive nightclub armed with an automatic weapon and began to shoot at revellers
He was finally tracked down and was pinned down by officers next to his four-year-old son, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. He is now being transferred to Istanbul Police Headquarters.
A photograph shows him covered in blood after officers put him in handcuffs.
Those celebrating New Year’s Eve in the exclusive club in the city were forced to run for their lives when the attacker entered.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the savage attack, later adding that it was revenge for the Turkish military involvement in Syria.
Police in Turkey have desperately been hunting the main suspect for more than two weeks following the attack which also left 69 wounded.
During the incident, the attacker opened fire with an automatic rifle, reloading his weapon half a dozen times and shooting the wounded as they lay on the ground.
Turks as well as visitors from several Arab nations, India and Canada were among those killed in the attack.
He was reportedly arrested in the Esenyurt district of the city – just 25 miles from the nightclub
The suspect was caught in an operation jointly carried out by the Turkish police and the spy agency MIT, Turkish TV said.
There had been confusion over the identity of the attacker in the wake of the massacre, with reports initially suggesting a Kyrgyz national and then a Uighur from China.
But reports on January 8 said intelligence services and anti-terror police in Istanbul had identified him as a 34-year-old Uzbek who was part of a Central Asian IS cell.
The suspect was living in an apartment rented by a Kyrgyz in Istanbul who was also detained, TRT reported.
Security forces were seen arriving in the Esenyurt area of Istanbul on Monday evening
The New Year’s Eve Istanbul nightclub attacker has been caught, according to Turkish media