Protesters gather in front of Turkish Embassy in Baghdad

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Protesters gathered in front of the Turkish embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday to condemn the artillery strikes carried out on a resort area in northern Iraq.

Turkish artillery strikes killed at least eight tourists, among them a small child, in northern Iraq and wounded over 20, officials from the Iraqi Kurdish government, a hospital and the army said Wednesday.

At least four artillery shells struck the resort area of Barakh in the Zakho district in the semi-autonomous Kurdish-run region, District Mayor Mushir Mohammed told The Associated Press.

All the casualties were Iraqi citizens.

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Demonstrators stood outside the Turkish embassy, chanting slogans condemning the strikes.

“The locations you are air striking are civilian sites that killed children, young men, and women. Why would you air strike a resort?” said Mohammad Ali, a protester who stood across from the embassy.

Hundreds of Iraqi tourists holiday in the Kurdish region from the south during the peak summer months because the weather is relatively cooler.

Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes into northern Iraq and has sent commandos to support its offensives targeting elements of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party or PKK.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing condolences to the Iraqi people and government over the deaths and a speedy recovery to those injured.

The statement said Turkey carries out its operations by showing “utmost sensitivity to the protection of civilians, infrastructure, historical and cultural assets and the environment.”

“Turkey is ready to take every step to reveal the truth,” the ministry said.

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