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Istanbul nightclub shooting suspect who slaughtered 39 New Year's revellers is 'ISIS militant' from Kyrgyzstan

Mirror logo Mirror 3/01/2017 Steve Robson


The suspect in a New Year's Day massacre at an Istanbul nightclub has been identified as an alleged ISIS militant from Kyrgyzstan.

Turkish authorities are hunting 28-year-old Iakhe Mashrapov in connection with the shooting spree which left 39 people dead and nearly 70 injured.

It was claimed Mashrapov fought in Syria for ISIS and was "specially selected" to carry out the nightclub rampage as the victims welcomed 2017.

He reportedly moved to Turkey from Kyrgyzstan with his wife and two kids on November 20 and spent some time in Konya province before returning to Istanbul just days prior to the terror attack.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Police have arrested 14 people, including the suspect's wife, after they reportedly traced a phone call he made from a taxi driver's mobile on the way to the popular Reina nightclub.

Abdulkadir Selvi, a columnist for the Hurriyet newspaper, claimed the attacker had been trained in street fighting in residential areas in Syria and used those techniques in the attack as he shot from the hip like he was in a "street war".

Selvi wrote that the gunman was "specially selected" for the shooting and his "hit rate" was high, with just 28 bullets failing to hit a target.

Reports claimed he fled Turkey following the shooting, and a photo of his passport picture has been circulated online.

Credits: AFP © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: AFP Earlier a video selfie released by authorities showed the suspect smirking on camera before the massacre.

The suspect stared into the lens as he filmed himself in the popular meeting area Taksim Square.

The man was pictured wearing a black hooded jacket as he filmed himself.

The footage was released the day after ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack at Reina, when a man with an AK-47 fired at least 180 bullets at the crowd.

His wife was among at least 14 people arrested during raids in Istanbul and Konya.

Turkish media outlet TRT World reported that she claimed she had never witnessed her husband showing sympathy to ISIS or its causes.

She said he arrived in Istanbul on November 20 and drove to Konya two days later to "look for work", and returned to Istanbul on December 29.

CCTV footage believed to show the gunman handing over identification documents at a bureau has also been revealed.

Credits: Instagram/volnovanatasha © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Instagram/volnovanatasha The suspect, dressed in a black jacket with a red hood over a black top, is shown handing over documents before entering the country at an unidentified date and location.

According to specialists who examined CCTV footage of the IS militant rampaging into the nightclub, he looks professionally trained on how to use the weapon and could have injured his foot.

Anti-terror expert Abdullah Ağar said: “The attacker is determined, faithful, practical, coldblooded, expert and knows how to get results.

“He probably fired these bullets before in real clash zones. He had no hesitation in shooting at innocent people. He is absolutely a killer and he most probably shot at humans before.”

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