Tuesday, 29 September, 2020

Turkish diplomat shot dead in middle of Iraq restaurant

The gumen escaped the restaurant through the back door and security forces were searching for them The gumen escaped the restaurant through the back door and security forces were searching for them
Deanna Wagner | 18 July, 2019, 09:30

The attack reportedly took place at around 2pm at the HuQQabaz restaurant in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan Region.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that an "officer of the Consulate General of Irbil was martyred as a result of an atrocious armed attack while he was outside the Consulate General's building".

The Kurdish officials and Iraqi state television earlier said three people were killed and that they were all Turkish diplomats and included the deputy consul.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan, the Kurdish security service and Iraq's Baghdad-based foreign ministry condemned the attack.

"We are continuing our efforts with the Iraqi authorities and local authorities to quickly find the perpetrators of the attack", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

Kurdish authorities sealed off roads around the scene and searched nearby cars and businesses.

In a statement, Asayish said it had launched an investigation into the attack.

The diplomat was identified by a local police source to AFP as the Turkish vice consul.

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Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for the Turkish presidency, and Mustafa Sentop, spokesman for the parliament, said that Ankara will give the right response to those responsible for the cowardly attack.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the second victim was a civilian. Wednesday's attack in Erbil comes just over a week after Turkish airstrikes killed Diyar Gharib Mohammed, a senior leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), in a mountainous area near the Iraq-Turkey border.

One other person died in the attack.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the killing.

Ankara's forces have regularly carried out air raids against PKK targets in northern Iraq and in May dropped commandos on mountain ridges in a new operation against the militants.

The PKK is an armed group that has been fighting the Turkish state since 1984, a couple of years after it was founded.

Turkey and the KRG have generally enjoyed good relations since the autonomous province was officially created in 2005.