Istanbul nightclub attacker identified, says Turkish foreign minister

The minister, however, did not name the attacker or give any further details.

Istanbul nightclub attacker identified, says Turkish foreign minister

Turkish foreign minister on Wednesday announced that its authorities have identified the gunman responsible for the attack on an elite nightclub that killed 39 people celebrating New Year.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, in an interview, said: "The identity of the person responsible for the Istanbul attack has been established."

However, he neither name the attacker nor give any further details, according to the Anadolu news agency.

On that fateful night, the assailant stormed the popular Reina nightclub on the Bosphorus and sprayed 120 bullets at terrified partygoers celebrating the start of 2017 on Sunday.

Of the 39 dead, 27 were foreigners including citizens from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia and Morocco.

Soon after the attack, the dreaded terrorist organisation, ISIS, had claimed the massacre, the first time it has produced such a claim for a mass attack in Turkey.

Since escaping from the club, the gunman has been on the run although authorities previously said they were seeking a suspected jihadist from Central Asia, reportedly from Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan.

According to Turkish media the attacker rented a flat in the central city of Konya before moving to Istanbul to carry out the attack.

Media reports were also suggesting that the attacker appeared to be well trained in the use of arms and had fought in Syria for ISIS.