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Turkey arrests French citizen over New Year massacre

Turkish police have detained a 22-year-old French citizen on suspicion of helping plan the Istanbul New Year's nightclub shooting. The man has lived in France since 2009, but comes from a Turkish family background.

The suspect was arrested in Istanbul and formally charged for involvement in the New Year's shooting, Turkish news agencies reported on Tuesday.

Authorities identified the suspect as a 22-year-old French national of Turkish decent, and said he has been living in France since 2009. Police believe that the Frenchman helped plan the terror strike in the high-end Reina nightclub. The attack was claimed by the "Islamic State" (IS).

Türkei Wohnung des Reina-Attentäters in Istanbul (Reuters/O. Orsal)

Istanbul police detained the attacker in the city's Esenyurt neighborhood

At the time of the arrest, the suspect was carrying a tenancy agreement for the Istanbul apartment where the alleged nightclub shooter hid after the attack, Turkish prosecutors said. The security forces raided the location on January 16, capturing the main suspect, 34-year-old Uzbek national Abdulgadir Masharipov. Several other people were also detained.

On Saturday, an Istanbul court ordered Masharipov be remanded in custordy. He faces charges of killing 39 people, as well as "membership of an armed terrorist organization" and "attempting to destroy the constitutional order." Masharipov has confessed to attacking the club.

Out of 39 people killed in the Istanbul massacre, 27 people were foreigners. IS claimed that the attack was retribution for Turkish actions in Syria.

dj/rt (Reuters, AFP)

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