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Attack in restaurant in northern Iraq kills Turkish diplomat

Attack in restaurant in northern Iraq kills Turkish diplomat

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — A gunman opened fire inside a restaurant in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil on Wednesday, killing at least one Turkish diplomat working at Ankara's consulate, Turkey's state-run news agency and Iraqi media said.

Anadolu Agency reported the shooting but did not provide further details. The state-run Iraqi news agency identified him as the deputy general consul and said several of his entourage were also killed in the shooting.

Earlier, Turkish media reports said two people were killed while a third was wounded in the attack. There was no immediate confirmation from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The rare shooting occurred at HuQQabaz, a popular restaurant. Local Iraqi Kurdish news outlet Rudaw said the restaurant is located on the airport road in Irbil.

Kurdish news agency Rudaw published a photo showing the front window facade of the restaurant shattered and police standing outside. It also published a photo of a car parked outside the restaurant with blood stains on it.

It said security and emergency officials were responding to the incident and that the scene was on lockdown.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting.

Turkey on Wednesday launched airstrikes against Kurdish insurgents in northern Iraq, killing at least seven members of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or the PKK — a group Ankara labels a terrorist organization because of the insurgency it has been waging mostly in southern Turkey.

The PKK has been waging an insurgency for more than three decades, and its fighters have base in northern Iraq, near the border with Iran. Turkey has regularly bombed the mountainous area where the PKK are based and in March targeted a meeting of senior PKK leadership there, injuring a senior commander and killing three others.

Ankara accuses the PKK of launching assaults into Turkey from the Kurdistan region and has kept bases in Iraq and targeted the militants stronghold for decades, an agreement it had reached with the previous Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein where the two countries agreed to use each other's territories to safeguard their borders.


Associated Press writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey contributed.