Turkish anti-terror police conduct more raids in club probe

Turkish anti-terror police conduct more raids in club probe

ISTANBUL — Police on Thursday conducted more raids in their hunt for the gunman that killed 39 people including a Canadian at an Istanbul nightclub, detaining several people at a housing complex in the city’s outskirts, the state-run news agency reported.

Anadolu Agency said gendarmerie police and special operations teams conducted raids in the Silivri district, detaining an undisclosed number of people from China’s Muslim Uighur community. The report said that those rounded up were suspected of “aiding and abetting” the gunman.

At least 39 other people — including 11 women — are already in custody over suspected links to the attack on Istanbul’s upscale Reina nightclub during New Year’s celebrations.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the massacre, saying it was in reprisal for Turkish military operations in northern Syria. Most of the victims of the attack were foreigners from the Middle East.

They included Alaa Al-Muhandis, an Ontario mother of two.

The government says the gunman, who reportedly escaped in a taxi, has been identified but authorities haven’t revealed his name. Turkish media have widely published images of the suspect, including a selfie video filmed at Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

Sabah newspaper, which is close to the government, said the suspect is a Kyrgyz national who was born in 1988.

Security has been tightened around Istanbul and at border crossings and airports to prevent him from fleeing Turkey.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus suggested in an interview with the Hurriyet Daily news newspaper and other sister publications that “foreign intelligence services” could be behind the attack, pointing at the “professional” manner in which it was carried out.

“I am of the opinion that it’s not possible for the perpetrator to have carried out such an attack without any support. It seems like a secret service thing. All these things are being assessed,” Hurriyet Daily News quoted Kurtulmus as saying in the interview published on Thursday.

A group of about 20 suspects were detained on Wednesday in a police operation in Izmir, western Turkey. Anadolu said the suspects are from the largely Muslim Russian republic of Dagestan, as well as members of China’s Muslim Uighur minority and from Syria. They are thought to have lived with the gunman in an alleged IS cell house in the central Turkish city of Konya, the agency reported. About 20 children who were with the detainees were also taken to a police station.

__

Associated Press Writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara contributed to this report.

Dusan Stojanovic, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Duncan man faces numerous charges following Sooke Rd. crash

RCMP found alcohol and a loaded hand gun at the scene

UPDATED: Humboldt bike lanes next in Victoria’s Biketoria plan

Public input sought on new designs; protected two-way, shared lanes being considered

Smouldering U-Haul snarls Pat Bay traffic

Afternoon commuters were reduced to one northbound lane after a U-Haul cube… Continue reading

Bikes keep kids focused in Strawberry Vale classrooms

There are now 90 silent bikes are in Saanich, Victoria classrooms

Twin Kennedy heading home for holidays; plans concert in Oak Bay

The country music duo is headed home to Sooke for the holidays

Sailors set to deck the hulls for annual Sea of Lights

Lighted sail past set for Dec. 1 with community events at vantage points Willows Beach and Gyro Park

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Stay safe on B.C. roads this holiday season

RCMP warn drivers to plan a safe ride home or suffer the consequences this holiday season

Trudeau apologizes to excluded residential school students

PM makes statement to former students in Nfld who were left out of previous compensation, apology

Victoria hit and run suspect sought after pedestrian struck by truck

VicPD ask for the public’s help with incident at Cook and Yates streets

Saanich among safest communities in Canada

It is the sort of list where you want to finish near… Continue reading

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Most Read