A disgruntled former employee has burst into a government agency in eastern Turkey, shooting dead six staff before taking his own life.
The gunman took his one-time colleagues hostage at the Turkish Statistical Institute in the city of Kars and then embarked on a shooting spree that has also left many others injured, officials said.
“We unfortunately lost seven people,” Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz said.
Yilmaz said the assailant was a former employee who had been blocked from any promotion after facing administrative sanctions.
“Someone who was dismissed from his job ran amok and killed six people before committing suicide,” Kars governor Eyup Tepe said in a statement.
He said the assailant, identified as Veysi Erim, had received treatment for “psychological problems”.
Specialist police teams rushed to the scene but the staff were killed before their arrival, media reports said.
“He first took the bureau head hostage,” the main opposition party’s mayoral candidate Naif Alibeyoglu, from the Republican People’s Party, was quoted as saying by the Hurriyet newspaper.
“Then he randomly fired here and there, killing six.
“There are also many people injured.”
The assailant had recently travelled to the Kurdish-majority southeastern province of Diyarbakir and brought a gun from there, he said.
Tensions are running high in Turkey ahead of key local elections on March 30, but the governor’s office said the incident had nothing to do with “politics or any terrorist activity”.
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