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Middle East

Seven dead in shooting at Turkey statistics office

Turkish police cordon off a street after a rocket attack damaged a police headqurters building in the Turkish capital of Ankara on September 20, 2013. ( AFP PHOTO/STR)

ANKARA: A worker at a Turkish statistics office in the eastern province of Kars shot dead six people before committing suicide on Wednesday, in what local media said appeared to have been a revenge attack over a professional dispute.

Kars Governor Eyup Tepe said the Statistics Institute (TUIK) employee had come to the building and had shot dead six staff including the regional manager with a Glock pistol. One other employee escaped with light injuries.

"Veysi Erim was working as a sociologist ... and was receiving treatment for psychological problems. This horrible incident has no connection with terrorism," Tepe's office said in a statement on its website.

TUIK confirmed that one of its employees had killed six staff before turning the gun on himself but gave no further details. The Hurriyet newspaper said Erim had been involved in a professional dispute before the shooting.

Kars is in northeastern Turkey near the Armenian border, where militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - branded a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union - have conducted attacks including kidnappings.

Political tensions are running high in Turkey ahead of local elections on March 30 and amid a corruption scandal dogging Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government.

There has been a series of attacks, including shootings at the local offices of political parties, in recent weeks, most of them in Istanbul.

 

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