US teacher shot dead by student in north Iraq

AFP , Thursday 1 Mar 2012

Student shoots American teacher, tries to commit suicide in Iraq's Kurdish north

An American teacher was shot dead on Thursday by one of his students at a private Christian school in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, officials said.

The student, 18-year-old Piyar Suroor, tried to kill himself after firing multiple gunshots at Jeremiah Small, a teacher at the Medes School in Kurdistan's second biggest-city of Sulaimaniyah.

"A student killed his American teacher by shooting him dead," said Sulaimaniyah police spokesman Lieutenant Sargut Ahmed.

Suroor then shot himself, in an apparent attempt to commit suicide, but was still alive and in a critical condition, a doctor at Sulaimaniyah hospital said.

It was not immediately clear why Suroor opened fire on Small.

The Medes School describes itself on its website as a private Christian network of schools in Iraq's Kurdish region that teaches in English.

"We have heard reports regarding the shooting of a teacher in Sulaimaniyah and are working through our consulate in Erbil and Iraqi authorities to ascertain the details of the incident," said a US embassy spokesman in Baghdad.

"At this time, we are waiting for identification to be completed and for the family to be notified."

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