US forces kill IS leader blamed for nightclub attack

Many of the victims of the New Year's Day gun attack at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul were Arab tourists

US forces operating in Syria have killed a senior member of the Islamic State group blamed for an attack on a nightclub that left 39 dead, officials said Friday.

"We will reach you anywhere," Brett McGurk, the US diplomat who coordinates the coalition fighting the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria, said in a tweet confirming the death.

Officials identified the slain militant as Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, and described him as a close associate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State's self-declared "caliphate."

They said he helped coordinate the movement and funding of foreign fighter cells, and was behind the January 1 gun attack on revellers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.

He is said to have been killed on April 6 in Mayadin, a town on the Euphrates river near Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, in an area that is regularly targeted by coalition air strikes.

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