Militants storm government building in north Iraq, kill 1 before being gunned down
By BALINT SZLANKO | Associated Press | Published: July 23, 2018
IRBIL, Iraq — Three militants stormed the governorate building in the city of Irbil in Iraq's northern Kurdish region, opening fire and killing an employee and wounding a policeman before they were gunned down, according to Iraqi media.
The assault started at around 7 a.m. and local Kurdish security forces later managed to enter the building, according to Rudaw Television and Radio, which cited the city's 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 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.
Irbil is the capital of Iraq's self-governing northern Kurdish region, which typically enjoys good security.
The last major attack there took place in 2015 against the U.S. Consulate, killing three people and wounding five others. One American teacher and two Turkish citizens were among the wounded, police said. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Iraqi Kurdish forces known as peshmerga were key in the Iraqi military's defeat of IS last year.
Associated Press writer Sinan Salaheddin in Baghdad contributed to this report.