Hammoud Asks Turkey to Brief Lebanon on Istanbul Attack Probe

State Prosecutor Samir Hammoud on Wednesday sent a memo via the Justice Ministry to a Turkish prosecutor regarding the Istanbul nightclub massacre that left 39 people dead including three Lebanese, state-run National News Agency reported.

Hammoud asked the Turkish prosecutor to “provide him with the details of the probe into the terrorist attack on the Reina nightclub, which resulted in the martyrdom of several people including three Lebanese and the wounding of others,” NNA said.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri had on Monday that Lebanese authorities are “following up with the Turkish government on the issue of the criminal who carried out the crime.”

Lebanese nationals Elias Wardini, Rita Shami and Haykal Musallem were killed in the attack while six other Lebanese were wounded.

Turkey said Wednesday it had identified the gunman behind the New Year Eve’s massacre.

At least 36 people have now been detained in the probe, but the gunman himself remains on the run after slipping into the night following the attack.

“The identity of the person responsible for the attack has been established,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during an interview with state-run Anadolu news agency, without giving any name.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, with reports suggesting the authorities suspect the gunman may be from either Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan, both ex-Soviet states.

“Efforts to capture him continue,” said Cavusoglu, adding that the house the suspect lived in “has been searched” and the attack he mounted had been “professionally” planned.

IS said the attack was a response to Turkey’s military intervention against the jihadists in war-ravaged Syria where Turkish troops are pressing a four-month incursion to oust jihadists from the border area.