Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Turkmeni cafe in Kirkuk hit by suicide bomber; at least 25 killed

Hürriyet 18.07.2006

A cafe frequented by ethnic Turkmeni citizens 80 kilometers to the south of Kirkuk was hit yesterday by a suicide bomber. Initial estimates are that 25 Turkmeni were killed in the attack. Ahmet Muratli, a representative from the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC), said there was worry that the death count from the bombing, which took place Sunday evening around 18:00, could go higher. Muratli reported that the suicide bomber entered the Aksu Cafe, a popular site for Shiite Turkmeni along the Tusurmati River, and asked for a glass of water before pulling the pin on his bomb. Work aimed at pulling the bodies of the dead out of the cafe was still going on last night at 22:00. The Turkish Foreign Ministry is following the situation closely, with special head advisor Altay Cengizer reporting on developments in the region to Foreign Ministry Abdullah Gul. Just two days ago, the president of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, Sadettin Ergec, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on him in Kirkuk.