5 Diyanet imams killed in eastern Turkey in armed attack during heated debate

Five imams from Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) were killed when an argument among imams at town hall ended an armed assault in Turkey’s eastern Erzincan province, according to a report by online news outlet Gazete Duvar on Friday.

According to the report, the local administration of Erzincan province’s Tercan district convened for an ordinary monthly meeting. An employee of the mufti’s office, identified only as Fatih A., stormed into the meeting with a gun amid a heated debate.

Imam Rasim Kılıç and preacher Ersin Kağan were killed on the scene, while five imams who were wounded in the attack were hospitalized. Later on Friday, it was reported that three more imams had died from wounds sustained in the shooting.

Erzincan Deputy Governor Musa Baştürk told the media the gunman had “psychological problems” and that two of the people he wounded were in critical condition.

Police have launched an operation to apprehend the assailant, who fled the scene after the attack.

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