Turkish diplomat killed in armed attack in Iraq's Irbil

Wed 17 Jul 2019 13:22 GMT | 17:22 Local Time

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One Turkish diplomat was killed in an armed attack on a restaurant in northern Iraq's Irbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday, Daily Sabah reported.

"Our initiatives before Iraqi authorities and local officials resume for the assailants of the attack to be found quickly," the statement added, offering condolences to the Turkish nation and the family of the slain diplomat.

Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın also shared a similar statement on his Twitter account, wishing God's mercy upon the consular employee who lost his life in the grim attack. He also vowed that Turkey would give the "necessary response to those who committed this treacherous attack."

Unknown gunmen opened fire on a Turkish restaurant where the diplomats were dinning, reports said.

Earlier, Reuters reported that three Turkish diplomats had lost their lives in the attack, citing security officials. The deputy consul general in Irbil was reportedly one of the three diplomats targeted in the attack, the report said, but this could not be independently verified by the Daily Sabah.

Roads leading out of Irbil were cordoned off by KRG authorities to capture the two armed assailants involved the shooting of Turkish diplomat, Irbil Police Chief Abdulhalik Talat said.

An assailant in civilian clothes carrying two firearms was killed on the scene.

Consul Hakan Karaçay was not at the restaurant when the attack took place.

Authorities locked down the area near the Airport Road between Irbil's Dream City and Empire neighborhoods, known as one of the safest areas in the city.

The attack targeted Turkey-based Huqqabaz restaurant chain, which also has six branches in Turkey. The company was planning to open two branches in Iraq, in Baghdad and Sulaymaniyah. Its parent company Huqqa cafe chain is popular among visitors from Middle East and has two branches abroad in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Muscat, Oman with a branch in Qatar on the way.

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