ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Directorate-General of Erbil Security on Wednesday confirmed that a shooting that took place at a restaurant in the city resulted in the deaths of a Turkish consulate staff member along with two civilians.
The incident occurred in the early afternoon at a dining location in western Erbil, close to Sami Abdulrahman Park.
Local security forces deployed to the scene and formed a perimeter to search nearby areas, with assailants still at large.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the shooting in a restaurant in Erbil today, which led to the deaths of a Turkish diplomat and a civilian,” the Asayish said in a statement. Another individual was wounded and later died from his injuries.
“We assure our citizens and foreign diplomats in particular that all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety and security of the Kurdistan Region and its peoples,” it added.
“The government has launched a full investigation and contacted senior Turkish diplomats to offer condolences and provide assistance.”
The statement gave no further details.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, confirmed that “an official” from their Erbil Consulate-General was killed in “a heinous attack,” while outside the compound.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes amid continued deadly clashes between Turkish forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) near the Kurdistan Region’s northern border areas.
The PKK has been engaged in a decades-long insurgency against Turkey over Kurdish rights and self-rule since the early 1980s in a conflict that has resulted in the death of over 40,000 people on both sides.
One PKK official, however, denied their fighters were involved in the incident. “We have no information regarding the incident and only heard about it through the media,” Diyar Deniz, media director of the PKK’s armed wing People’s Defense Forces (HPG), said.
In recent weeks, Ankara’s fighter jets have killed multiple high-ranking members of the group when bombarding them in their bases and outposts in the Kurdistan Region. The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany