Turkish Authorities Have Reportedly Identified Nightclub Shooting Suspect | WBEZ
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Turkish Authorities Have Reportedly Identified Nightclub Shooting Suspect

Updated at 7:20 a.m. ET

Turkish authorities believe they have identified the suspected gunman responsible for the New Year's attack at an Istanbul nightclub that killed at least 39 people. A lone gunman shot his way into the Reina nightclub early Sunday, which was packed with holiday revelers.

The Turkish news agencies IHA and TRT World say the suspect is a national of the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan, as NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Istanbul. They say he entered Turkey through Syria, with a wife and child, and remains at large.

As Peter reports, TRT World, which is state-funded, showed images of a passport belonging to the apparent suspect and named that person, but the broadcaster stopped showing the passport page shortly after without explanation. We have since removed that name as well from our story.

Turkish police have not publicly commented on the authenticity of the purported passport.

The passport photo appeared to be of the same man who appears in a "selfie" video released yesterday by Turkish authorities. The video shows the man walking along a city street. Turkish authorities did not say when the video was recorded or how they obtained it.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Peter further reports:

"The claim of responsibility by ISIS prompted Turkey's deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus to say Turkey's response will be to step is military attacks against ISIS in northern Syria.

"That escalation appears to have already begun. The military tells the state-run Anatolia News Agency that Turkish attacks have killed at least 18 ISIS fighters in the past 24 hours and at least 150 ISIS targets have been hit by air strikes or tank and artillery fire in recent days."

Police raids continue in Istanbul neighborhoods, Peter reports, and 14 people are being held for questioning in connection with the attack.

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