Published: Thu, July 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Turkish diplomat shot dead in Iraqi city, officials say

Turkish diplomat shot dead in Iraqi city, officials say

The shooting was reported shortly after 2pm local time, and took place at a restaurant in an upmarket area of Iraqi Kurdistan's capital city.

Security forces take measures after a Turkish consulate employee was killed in an armed attack on a restaurant in Erbil, Iraq on July 17, 2019.

The attack, by unidentified gunmen, killed Turkey's deputy consul general in Irbil, as well as an Iraqi citizen who was accompanying him, according to Ahmed al-Sahhaf, a spokesman for Iraq's Foreign Ministry.

Turkey " s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned Wednesday the murder of an official of the country " s Consulate General in northern Iraq and said they are trying to arrest the attackers.

His spokesman Ibrahim Kalin vowed "the necessary response will be given to those who committed this treacherous attack". A civilian at the scene was also injured, Sahhaf said.

"We are continuing our contacts so that details concerning the issue of the apprehension of the assailants, and what is behind the attack, are brought to light", Cavusoglu said.

Though no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, tension between Turkey and the Kurds is nothing new.

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Turkish jets regularly bomb positions belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Ankara has outlawed, in northern Iraq.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said an official of the Turkish consulate in Irbil was "martyred" as a result of an armed attack.

Turkey confirmed that an "employee" at its Arbil consulate was killed in a shooting.

"There can be no justification for such acts of wanton violence", Pompeo said in a statement.

In the past year, Turkey has launched air strikes against PKK targets in the norther of the KRG with increasingly regularity, leading locals to complain about civilians deaths and injuries. The Turkish Defense Ministry said on Saturday that its military offensive in the region, which started in May, had been expanded.

Apart from Turkey, the PKK has been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, the United Kingdom, and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states. The group, which has waged a revolt against Turkey since 1984, operates bases in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

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