IRBIL - Gunmen have killed at least one Turkish diplomat in Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, in an attack on consulate staff gathered in a restaurant, Turkey’s foreign ministry said. The state-run Iraqi news agency identified the dead man as the deputy consul general, the Associated Press reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility after the attackers opened fire at the Huqqabaz restaurant, which sits in an upmarket area on the airport road, popular with foreigners including aid workers and oil company employees. Photos published by the local news agency Rudaz showed a shattered window on the outside of the building and a car with bloodstains.

Earlier media reports initially put the number of dead and injured higher, but there were no other details of casualties.

On Wednesday Turkey launched airstrikes against Kurdish insurgents in the north of Iraq, killing at least seven members of the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK).

Ankara has labelled the group, which has been fighting an insurgency in southern Turkey for three decades, a terrorist organisation and has accused it of launching assaults into Turkey from Iraqi Kurdistan.