Kurdistan: Killer of senior Turkish diplomat arrested

Security forces in Erbil stand guard after at least three Turkish consulate employees were killed in an armed attack on a restaurant. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Erbil ( – Kurdistan’s security forces have announced the capture of a man implicated in the killing of a senior Turkish diplomat in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, last Thursday.

According to a statement by the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC), the arrested man, whose photo has gone vital since Thursday’s daytime attack, was identified as Mazloum Dagh.

He was arrested by a joint force of Kurdistan’s Asayish security and counter-terrorism troops, the statement read.

The council added that it will unveil further details about the incident later.

The slain diplomat was holding the position of the deputy consul for the Kurdistan region, The Guardian reported.

He had just arrived at a restaurant with a group of consulate staff when the gunman opened fire, the owner of the Huqqabaz restaurant told Andalou news agency. One other person was injured in the attack.

The attacker was wearing civilian clothes and carried two guns. An accomplice waited outside to drive him away from the Huqqabaz, which sits in an upmarket area on the airport road.

Iraqi authorities and the ruling Kurdish party in Erbil, the KDP, both condemned the killings.

The attack came shortly after Turkey announced a new military operation against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq. Airstrikes there on Wednesday killed at least seven members of the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK).

Ankara has labelled the group – which has been fighting an insurgency in southern Turkey for three decades – a terrorist organisation.

Both Turkey and the KDP have blamed the PKK for other attacks on Turkish interests in the area, including the storming of a Turkish military camp earlier this year.

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