UN envoy decries killing of Turkish diplomat in Iraq's Erbil
BAGHDAD, July 17 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations (UN) top envoy in Iraq on Wednesday strongly condemned the killing of a Turkish diplomat in an armed attack in Iraq's northern city of Erbil, urging for a thorough probe into the attack.
Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, said "this heinous attack cannot be justified under any circumstance and must be soundly condemned," according to a statement by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
"I urge for maximum restraint and intensified efforts by the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation, apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice," the statement quoted the UNAMI chief as saying.
Earlier in the day, a Turkish consulate employee and a civilian were killed while another person was wounded when gunmen opened fire at a restaurant in the northern city of Erbil, the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.
A local security source told Xinhua that security forces have cordoned off the area, intensified security measures at the city's entrances and launched a search campaign looking for the attackers who fled the scene immediately.
The Kurdish security service, known as Asayish, issued a statement condemning the attack, saying the regional Kurdish government has launched a full investigation into the shooting incident.
"We assure our citizens and foreign diplomats in particular that all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety and security of the Kurdistan Region and its peoples," the Asayish statement said.