Bodies of Turkey strike victims flown to Iraq’s Baghdad

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Caskets containing the bodies of nine victims killed in artillery strikes in northern Iraq were transported Thursday from the semi-autonomous Kurdish-run northern region to the capital Baghdad for burial.

At least four artillery shells struck the resort area of Barakh in the Zakho district in the Kurdish region on Wednesday.

Iraq’s military said eight people were killed in the attack, but nine caskets were loaded onto the military plane.

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The caskets were wrapped in Iraqi flags and a wreath laying ceremony was carried out at Irbil International Airport, attended by the region’s President Nechirvan Barzani, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, officials and relatives of the victims.

The caskets were then put into an Iraqi Air Force plane that transported them to the capital.

More than 20 people were also wounded in the strikes that Iraq blamed Turkey for.

All of the casualties were Iraqi citizens who were visiting the resort area. A small child was among the victims.

The Iraqi government, which condemned the attack as “flagrant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty,” convened an emergency national security meeting, summoned Turkey’s ambassador to Baghdad and ordered a pause in dispatching a new Iraqi ambassador to Ankara.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi accused Turkey of ignoring “Iraq’s continuous demands to refrain from military violations against Iraqi territory and the lives of its people.”

But Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Thursday rejected accusations that the country’s military carried out strikes against tourists in northern Iraq.

He said his country was willing to cooperate with Iraqi authorities to shed light on the “treacherous attack.”

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