Turkish authorities nabs two Uighurs over Istanbul attack

January 14, 2017 10:00 pm

A member of the Turkish special security forces patrols near the Reina night club, the site of an earlier terrorist attack, in , January 4, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Turkish authorities have arrested two Chinese people hailing from the Uighur community over alleged connection to a deadly New Year’s Day attack at a nightclub in Istanbul.
The arrests were made on Friday, Turkish media reported, naming the suspects as Omar Asim and Abuliezi Abuduhamiti.
The massacre saw a lone gunman making his way into an upscale club shortly after the inauguration of the New Year and starting to mow down revelers. Thirty nine people were killed and nearly 70 others were injured in the shooting spree.
The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is mainly active in Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attack. Reports later surfaced alleging that the assailant had entered via Syria last year.
Turkish authorities speculate that the assailant, who has been identified and is on the run, is an ethnic Uighur. Uighurs speak Turkic and populations of them live in China as well as in Turkey.
The two suspects have been remanded in custody on charges of being members of an armed terrorist organization and aiding in 39 counts of murder.
As many 35 people, including the attacker’s next of kin and Uighurs, have been arrested so far in connection with the Istanbul terrorist attack.
Early in January, Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily  cited the assailant’s wife, who is also in police custody, as saying in her testimony that she learned about the attack from the TV, alleging she didn’t even know that her husband was a Daesh sympathizer let alone a terrorist.
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