IraqMiddle East

Three killed as gunmen storm govt. building in Erbil

Kurdish security forces have killed three gunmen who stormed the governorate building in the city of Erbil in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and took hostages.

The attackers entered the building in the commercial sector of Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), in northern Iraq on Monday and fired from windows at security forces.

Several people were taken hostage inside the building, where the gunmen took over the third floor, Kurdish security officials said.

“At around 7:45 am two gunmen approached the entrance of the governorate and opened fire at the guards. They managed to enter and now they are on the third floor,” Tahir Abdullah, a deputy governor of the city, said.

Some of the attackers blew themselves up as they came under sniper fire. Kurdish security forces announced the end of operation after they killed the remaining gunman who was holed up in the building.

Reports said that two policemen were wounded. One of the rescued hostages was also seriously injured, security officials said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but a Kurdish security official said the gunmen were believed to be members of the Daesh terror group because of the tactics they used in breaking into the building from the main gate.

In December, Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Daesh, but the Takfiri militants still operate from pockets along the border with Syria and have continued to conduct ambushes, assassinations and explosions across Iraq.

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