Family members and friends mourn as they attend funeral prayers for Ayhan Akin, one of the nightclub victims, in Istanbul, on Sunday, January 1.
Family members and friends mourn as they attend funeral prayers for Ayhan Akin, one of the nightclub victims, in Istanbul, on Sunday, January 1.

Nightclub killer was 'from IS'

TURKISH police have released the reported first image of the prime suspect in the Istanbul nightclub terror attack, who screamed in Arabic as he opened fire.

The unnamed man is described as being from East Turkestan, Afghanistan or Chechnya, and Turkish intelligence services reportedly believe he is a member of the East Turkestan branch of IS.

The reported photograph of him was released after photos emerged in Turkish media of Istanbul resident Naim Sadakat. He has since posted a selfie to Facebook from inside the Zeytinburnu police station on January 1 to prove his innocence.

Mr Sadakat indicated in the post that he had just given his statement at the station in a further attempt to dissociate himself from the incident.

Meanwhile, chilling footage revealed how the gunman opened fire on revellers at the exclusive Reina nightclub in Istanbul during new year celebrations.

Armed with an AK-47, he killed 39 people and injured a further 69 partygoers as he stormed the club and opened fire at random.

Police said many of those killed were foreigners.

The gunman was heard screaming the Arabic words "Allahu akbar” (Allah is greater) after entering the club.

As Turkish police launched a massive hunt for the gunman, newly released footage showed him firing his gun outside the Reina nightclub door before entering.

He shoots a man in a red shirt who cowers in fear.

Another CCTV image appears to show the attacker changing his jacket as he walks around inside the venue.

The assailant shot dead a policeman and a civilian at the club entrance and then went on a shooting spree inside, where up to 700 people were partying.

The killer left a weapon that might help identify him.

While Dogan news agency said the gunman was dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim denied the report.

- NEWS CORP



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