A member of the Iraqi Kurdish security stands guard outside the restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Irbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region, July 17, 2019.
A member of the Iraqi Kurdish security stands guard outside the restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Irbil, the capital of northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region, July 17, 2019.

An official with Turkey's consulate in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Irbil was killed Wednesday when a gunman opened fire at a restaurant, Turkey's Foreign Ministry has confirmed.

Turkey's Anadolu news agency, citing the restaurant's owner, said the attacker with two weapons fired on a group of consulate workers shortly after arriving at the restaurant.

Iraq's state-run news agency reports the victim was Turkey's deputy general consul. The news agency also reported several other members of the group were killed.

Kurdish security members gather near a restaurant where a gunman opened fire in Irbil, Iraq, July 17, 2019.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said the victim had been "martyred as a result of a heinous attack" and called on Iraqi and regional authorities "to find the perpetrators of the attack swiftly."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the attack as "hateful." 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting. Kurdish security officials said the attacker fled the scene in a car driven by an accomplice.

The attack occurred at a popular restaurant in a high-security area near the Turkish consulate.

Turkey is in the midst of a large military offensive in Iraq's mountainous northern region to rid the area of pockets controlled by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The PKK has been designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union. The group, which has waged a revolt against Turkey since 1984, operates bases in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.

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