Istanbul on Alert as Hunt for Gunman Reaches 4th Day
Police increased security around Istanbul on Wednesday and detained some 20 people with suspected links to the deadly New Year’s Eve night club attack as the hunt for the gunman stretched into a fourth day.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlğt Çavusoglu said the gunman who killed 39 people during New Year’s celebrations at the Reina club before reportedly escaping in a taxi had been identified, but did not name him.
Police set up checkpoints across Istanbul as security levels remained high. They stopped cars and taxis, with passengers and drivers holding up their identifications while officers inspected the vehicles.
The city has been on edge since the attack on the upscale club popular with local celebrities, and on Wednesday residents beat up a man said to resemble the wanted gunman before handing him over to police.
Some 20 people, including 11 women, were taken into custody in police raids in the Aegean port city of Izmir.
The suspects, from the largely Muslim Russian republic of Dagestan, as well as members of China’s Muslim Uighur minority and from Syria, were believed to have lived with the gunman in an alleged IS cell house in the central Turkish city of Konya, the agency reported. Some 20 children who were with the detainees were also taken to a police station.
At least 16 people were previously detained in connection with the massacre.