Tue, Jul 24, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Assailants storm governorate in Iraqi Kurdish capital

AP, ERBIL, Iraq

Three militants stormed the governorate building in the city of Erbil in Iraq’s northern Kurdish Autonomous Region, opening fire and killing an employee and wounding a policeman before they were gunned down, Iraqi media reported.

The assault started at about 7am and local Kurdish security forces later managed to enter the building, Rudaw Television and Radio reported, citing Erbil Deputy Governor Tahir Abdullah.

Details were sketchy and shortly before noon, Rudaw said security forces reported that one of the militants inside the building was killed.

Iraqi state TV later said that all three attackers were killed, citing Kurdish security officials.

“I’d like to reassure everyone that the situation is under control as security forces have entered the building and are searching for the attackers room by room,” Abdullah told Rudaw.

Kurdistan 24, a local TV channel, broadcast video showing security personnel surrounding the building and trying to enter it.

Gunfire is occasionally heard in the footage.

Shortly after midday, Iraqi state TV declared the attack was over, but that one employee had been killed.

Kurdistan 24 showed images from inside the building, with the lifeless body of one attacker, pools of blood and bullet holes everywhere.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault.

“We believe that the attackers are from Islamic State because of the tactics they used in breaking into the building from the main gate. Two gunmen used pistols to shoot at the guards,” a security official said.

Erbil is the capital of Iraq’s self-governing northern Kurdish region, which enjoys good security.

The last major attack there took place in 2015 against the US Consulate, killing three people and wounding five others.

One American teacher and two Turks were among the wounded, police said.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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