Turkish diplomat and two others killed in northern Iraq restaurant attack

A Turkish diplomat working at Ankara's consulate in Erbil was killed during a shooting attack at a restaurant in the city. (AP Photo)
Updated 18 July 2019

Turkish diplomat and two others killed in northern Iraq restaurant attack

  • The restaurant is located on the airport road in Erbil
  • Security and emergency officials were responding to the incident and the scene was on lockdown

ERBIL: At least one gunman killed three people including the Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region in an attack Wednesday in the regional capital of Erbil, a police source told AFP.

“Three people, including the Turkish vice consul, were killed in an armed attack targeting the consul and the consulate’s employees in a restaurant in Erbil,” the source said, adding the attackers had fled the scene.

Witnesses in the city said checkpoints had been quickly set up inside and around the neighborhood of Ainkawa, which hosts numerous restaurants and the Turkish consulate.

Turkey confirmed that an “employee” at its Erbil consulate was killed in a shooting. Turkish presidency has pledged to ‘respond’ to killing of the diplomat.

The attack was not immediately claimed.

 

 

Turkey is waging a major military offensive in Iraq’s mountainous northern region to root out pockets of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK, seen as a “terrorist” group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and operates rear bases in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

Several rocket attacks have targeted diplomatic missions in Iraq in recent months, including rockets near the US and UK embassies in Baghdad’s “Green Zone.”

The US in May ordered all non-essential personnel of its Baghdad embassy and Erbil consulate to leave the country.

And in June, protesters gathered outside the Bahraini embassy in Baghdad,

Authorities in Iraq, which is witnessing a period of relative calm since declaring victory against the Daesh group in 2017, have pledged to protect embassies.


Three Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers at Gaza border: ministry

Updated 56 min 22 sec ago

Three Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers at Gaza border: ministry

  • Attack helicopter and tank had fired at ‘armed suspects’ along the barrier that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip, the Palestinian health ministry said Sunday, hours after three rockets were fired at Israel from the blockaded enclave.

The ministry said another Palestinian was hospitalized in the shooting that came after the Israeli army said an attack helicopter and tank had fired at “armed suspects” along the barrier that separates Israel from Gaza.

“We just identified a number of armed suspects from Gaza approaching the security fence with Israel. We fired toward them,” the army said a statement posted on its Twitter account.

The latest violence came after Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip fired three rockets at southern Israel late Saturday, the Israeli army said, in the second such attack in 24 hours.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The army said two of the projectiles had been intercepted by its Iron Dome aerial defense system but it did not specify what happened to the third rocket.

Air raid sirens had sounded in the southern town of Sderot and its surroundings.

On Friday Palestinians in Gaza fired a rocket at Sderot, in what the army said was the first such attack since July 12.

In response, Israeli warplanes struck at least three targets in the Gaza Strip early on Saturday but caused no casualties, a Palestinian security source said.

The strikes hit a Hamas observation post in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, an unidentified target near Gaza City and open ground near Deir El Balah in the central part of the territory, the source said.

An Israeli army statement mentioned only two strikes, against “underground targets belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the northern and central Gaza Strip.”

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, ruled by Islamist movement Hamas, have fought three wars since 2008.

And since March 2018, regular protests and clashes have erupted along the border of the blockaded coastal enclave.

At least 305 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza or the border area since then, the majority during demonstrations and clashes.

Seven Israelis have also been killed in Gaza-related violence over the same period.