ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - As many as ten rockets hit the local headquarters of two Iranian Kurdish opposition groups located in the Kurdistan Region's city of Koya on Saturday, killing and wounding dozens, according to party members. Officials from both parties have accused the government of Iran of being behind the attacks.
By early afternoon, a source from Koya hospital told Kurdistan 24 that 14 have so far died and 42 have been wounded.
"There are many martyrs and injured people, because of the rockets," said Ibrahim Chukali, member of the leadership council of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP-Iran) to Kurdistan 24.
The rockets also hit buildings of the adjacent headquarters of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).
KDP-Iran and the PDKI are two of the main Kurdish opposition groups that, over the past few years, has resumed their struggle against the Iranian government to achieve improved rights for the Kurdish minority in the country.
A PDKI post on Twitter read, "In a coordinated attack, the terrorist regime of Iran targeted PDKI’s bases and adjacent refugee camps in Koya, Iraqi Kurdistan. According to initial reports, 35 have been wounded, and 5 others have died."
According to Chukali, rockets targeted the KDP-Iran’s political bureau, training center, and Peshmerga housing complex in the area, Chukali said. He also mentioned that the area was shelled while the party’s leaders were holding a meeting.
Secretary of KDP-Iran Mustafa Mawludi and his predecessor Khalid Azizi are among those injured during the attack, sources from the party confirmed to Kurdistan 24.
It is the largest attack on the party’s headquarters since 1996.
Koya, also known as Koysinjaq, is located in eastern Erbil Province.
On Friday, Iranian forces claimed they killed six and hospitalized several others in clashes with another Iranian Kurdish group, the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) after they “fell into an ambush … and were destroyed” by a detachment of the Ground Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC). PJAK is most commonly described as the military wing of the PKK in Iran.
Although the border area has been witnessing a spike in attacks by Kurdish opposition fighters, a July offensive launched by the group saw the largest number of Iranian troops killed in a single action along the border in recent years.
Editing by John J. Catherine