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Seven killed in hostage crisis, Turkey

ISTANBUL—An armed assailant stormed Turkey’s statistics agency in the eastern province of Kars on Wednesday, killing six people and then committing suicide in what officials said was an isolated incident.

The local office of the Turkish Statistical Institute was attacked in the morning by Veysi Erim, who took six employees including regional manager Mehmet Tolon hostage, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency. Mr. Erim killed the hostages as security forces surrounded the building and positioned snipers, finally pointing the gun to his head as officials tried to negotiate with him, the news agency reported. Two people were also wounded in the attack.

“This incident is not a terrorist attack,” Kars Governor Eyup Tepe said, according to a spokeswoman at his office. The governorship will issue a detailed statement shortly, she added, declining further comment. The Kars police department couldn’t be immediately reached.

Dogan news agency identified Mr. Erim was identified as a state-employed sociologist. The governor told reporters that the attack isn’t political and was related to “an employee issue by a psychologically troubled person,” according to Anadolu. Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz said Mr. Erim’s promotions had been halted following investigations into his continued absence from work. But, the minister added, 33-year-old Mr. Erim hadn’t been fired.

Source: WSJ