ISTANBUL- A gunman suspected of killing 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Day has been caught by police in the city’s Esenyurt district.
According to Reuters the Hurriyet newspaper website and other media reports said on Tuesday, Abu Muhammed Horasani, was allegedly caught in a hideout with his four-year-old son, Hurriyet.
Horasani who is Uzbek by origin was caught at a housing complex in Esenyurt district, on the European side of the city according to Haberturk website.
“There were three people in the apartment, he was caught in the home of a Kyrgyz friend of his to which he had gone three days earlier”, Haberturk said.
State-run Anadolu news agency added that five people were detained in the operation, including the alleged perpetrator, a man of Kyrgyz origin and three women.
The site also alleged that simultaneous raids were being conducted on other cells linked to the group.
Dozens of people have previously been detained in connection with the attack for which Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
It is alleged that the attack was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.
One security source said ,”in the wake of the attack that the gunman appeared to have been well-versed in guerrilla warfare and may have trained in Syria”, according to the site.
On Jan. 1, the attacker allegedly shot his way into the Reina nightclub then opened fire with an automatic rifle, reloading his weapon half a dozen times and shooting the wounded as they laid on the ground.
Turks as well and foreigners from Arab nations, India and Canada were among those killed in the attack.
The shooting in Istanbul’s Ortakoy, Bosphorus shore, came a year after North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) members in Turkey was shaken by a series of attacks by radical Islamist and Kurdish militants and by a failed coup.
President Tayyip Erdogan has said the attack, which targeted a club popular with local celebrities and moneyed foreigners, had been being exploited to try to divide the largely Sunni Muslim nation.
Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Ralph Boulton