ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - Security forces killed three militants as an hours-long siege Monday morning on the Erbil Governorate building came to an end, a Kurdish security source confirmed early afternoon.
The gunmen injured a policeman and entered the building around 7:00 am local time before official working hours began, the source explained.
Kurdistan 24 obtained CCTV footage of Monday’s attack on the Erbil Governorate which shows the three suspects entering the building.
Soon after they stormed the office, Kurdish security forces surrounded the area and launched an operation to clear the building of any threat.
Tariq Nouri, General Director of Erbil Security, told reporters in a press conference soon after the siege ended that the three attackers had been identified as Erbil natives and residents.
“The motive behind the attack is unclear. It may or may not be a terrorist attack,” Tahir Abdullah, Erbil deputy governor, told Kurdistan 24.
Barzan Qassab, the deputy director of Erbil security, however, said the attack was “certainly a terrorist act.”
Four security members were injured in the raid to retake the building, Qassab said.
An investigation into the incident has already begun.
The militants used light weaponry, and a gunfire exchanged between them and security forces went on for hours before the siege came to an end at 12:30 pm local time. All gunmen involved were reportedly killed.
A man by the name of Farhan Elya who worked in the Erbil Governorate building for years serving tea died of injuries sustained during the attack. He was rescued and taken to the hospital but unfortunately did not make it, a medical source told Kurdistan 24.
Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region, is known to be safe and secure, with very few attacks taking place over the past decade.
Editing by Nadia Riva