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Gunmen killed in attack on government building in Erbil

Three gunmen shot dead in attack on governorate building, with one Kurdish official also killed, according to local news reports
Kurdish security forces gather at the governorate building in Erbil after Monday's attack (Reuters)

Three gunmen were killed by Kurdish security forces in an attack on the governorate building in Erbil, the capital of the Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, on Monday, according to local news reports.

Two of the gunmen were shot dead in the attack on the heavily fortified building, while the third attacker gained entry and was shot and killed inside, the Rudaw news agency reported.

A Kurdish official was also killed during the attack on the building, Governor Nawzad Hadi told a news conference after the four-hour standoff.

Earlier, the Reuters news agency reported that one of the gunmen had carried out a suicide bombing during the attack. But a Rudaw reporter at the scene said that none of the attackers had blown themselves up.

Photos of the building shared on social media by journalists after the attack showed bullet holes in the wall, broken glass and pools of blood on the floor.

Journalist Wladimir Van Wilgenburg posted a video of crowds applauding and chanting outside the building after security officials declared that the attack was over.

One police officer and two security staff were wounded in the attack, according to Rudaw.

Security officials said that all three attackers were from Erbil and were suspected of being members of the Islamic State (IS) group.

Kurdish Pershmerga forces played an key role in the battle against IS, which controlled the city of Mosul and territory close to the border of the Kurdish region, and the militant group has occasionally carried out bombings and attacks there.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.