27 suspects linked to the Reina nightclub attacker in Istanbul that killed 39 people have been detained in the western city of İzmir, the Doğan news agency reported Wednesday.
The agency said the police operation targeted three families who had arrived in Izmir from Konya - a city in central Turkey where the gunman is thought to have been based before carrying out the nightclub attack. It said 27 people, including women and children, were taken into custody.
The suspected assailant allegedly came to the city with his wife and two children to prevent suspicion on his terrorist identity. During her testimony after being detained, the wife had said that she was not even aware of her husband's "sympathies" with the Daesh terrorist organization.
Police have launched a nation-wide search operation for the perpetrator who managed to escape after the attack and at the same time continue its counter-terror operations against Daesh terrorists acrros the country. Ten Daesh members were reportedly arrested in the eastern city of Van on Wednesday morning. The news came few hours after the 27 suspects' detention.
Over the course of the attack the Daesh gunman changed six chargers and fired over 180 bullets, according to the investigation.
The suspect went upstairs after entering the Reina nightclub and started firing on revelers, before going downstairs to continue shooting. According to witnesses, he also shot people lying on the ground in the head. The attack reportedly lasted for seven minutes.
He then went to the kitchen, and stayed there for approximately 13 minutes before changing his clothes, taking off his coat, and escaping from the scene amid continued panic. He also cleaned his weapon before leaving the scene.
He then got in a cab and got out in nearby Kuruçeşme neighborhood after telling the driver he had no money to pay.
Investigators found a total of 500 Turkish liras in the pocket of the coat that he left in Reina and police are investigating whether he was wearing two coats when he entered the club.