Turkish TV names Istanbul nightclub attack suspect

Ankara, Jan 3 (IANS/AKI) The man suspected of shooting dead 39 people and injuring 70 at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year Eve before escaping is 28-year-old Kyrgyz citizen Iakhe Mashrapov, Turkish state broadcaster Trt said on Tuesday.

Turkish Twitter users posted and retweeted a photo from Mashrapov’s passport whose validity authorities in Kyrgyzistan were not immediately able to confirm, Kyrgyz news site AKIpress reported.

Mashrapov’s date of birth shown on the passport is August 2, 1988 and the document was issued on October 21, 2016, a month before he arrived in Turkey, according to Trt.

The Islamic State jihadist group claimed the attack during which a gunman opened fire from an assault rifle inside the Reina nightclub, which was packed with around 600 New Year revellers.

At least 27 of the dead were foreigners, Turkish officials said.

A manhunt is underway for Mashrapov. His wife was arrested in the central Turkish province of Konya early on Tuesday and said she did not know Mashrapov belonged to IS, according to police sources sited by Britain’s ITV channel.