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Asayish and counterterrorism unit service make two arrests in Erbil restaurant attack investigation: KRG

'Operations will continue'
Site of Erbil restaurant attack on July 17, 2019 (AFP)
2019-07-20

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced on Saturday (July 20) that they had arrested two suspects in the Erbil restaurant attack, which killed three people including a Turkish diplomat.

The Counterterrorism Department (CTD) said on its official Facebook page that Mazloum Dag, whose name and photo were released on Thursday, had been arrested by the Erbil Asayish Directorate and the CTD on Saturday.

Later, the Kurdistan Regional Government released a brief statement characterizing Dag as the “main perpetrator responsible for the Erbil restaurant shooting.”

“We commend the security forces, counter-terrorism unit, and people of Kurdistan, and ensure that operations will continue until all individuals involved in the shooting are arrested and brought to justice.”

Dag was identified on Friday as the brother of a lawmaker in the Turkish Parliament from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP). After the link was made, the party released a statement condemning the murders and cautioned the Turkish authorities against using the relationship to take action against their MP.

Later, CTD announced that it had a second person in custody, who was named as Muhammad Bisksiz. He was described as an accomplice and was also arrested on Saturday.

Neither CTD or the KRG have released details about their arrests.

Three people, including a Turkish diplomat, were shot dead in the Empire neighborhood of the Kurdistan Region's capital on Wednesday afternoon.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the killings, which were condemned by Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, Turkey, and the international community.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 7:05 pm EBL.