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Turkish diplomat killed in attack on restaurant in Erbil

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A diplomat from the Turkish Consulate General in the Iraqi Kurdish province of Erbil was among three people killed in an attack on a restaurant in the city on Wednesday afternoon, according to a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The ministry said it is in contact with Iraqi authorities and local officials, asking that the perpetrators of the attack be found as soon as possible.

According to a statement from the restaurant’s owner, the attacker, in civilian clothes and carrying two guns, opened fire on the Turkish diplomats shortly after they entered the restaurant. One of the diplomats died at the scene.

Erbil police sealed off roads around the area and searched nearby cars and businesses to find the gunman.

Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, tension between Turkey and the Kurds is not new. Turkey has fought a low-level armed campaign against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for more than four decades, including raids and incursions into Kurdish territory in Iraq.

Wednesday’s attack in Erbil comes a week after Turkish airstrikes killed Diyar Gharib Mohammed, a senior leader of the PKK, in a mountainous area near the Iraqi-Turkish border.

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