Three militants stormed the governorate building in the city of Irbil, the normally secure capital of Iraq’s northern Kurdish region. The gunmen were eventually killed, but it was unclear if there were other casualties.
The main regional government building in the city of Irbil in northern Iraq came under attack on Monday morning, after three gunmen shot their way into the building.
The assault on the governorate building in Irbil, which is the capital of Iraq’s self-governing Kurdish region, began around 8:30 a.m. local time (0530 GMT).
The militants took control of the third floor of the building before being killed by Kurdish security forces a few hours later, officials told Iraqi media.
It was unclear whether there were any hostages or other casualties.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, although Kurdish security officials said the attack bore the hallmarks of the militant “Islamic State” (IS) group.
“We believe that the attackers are from Islamic State because of the tactics they used in breaking into the building from the main gate. Two gunmen used pistols to shoot at the guards,” a security official was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Irbil, which typically enjoys good security in northern Iraq, was the site of a major attack on the US Consulate in 2015. The IS-claimed attack killed three people and wounded five others.
The Iraqi government declared victory over IS in December, although the militant group still holds pockets of territory and continues to carry out attacks.
The Iraqi Kurdish forces known as peshmerga were key in the military’s defeat of IS after the group launched an offensive in 2014, seizing nearly a third of the country.
rs/rc (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)