SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – A group of unknown men on Friday night threw grenades at the house of a preacher and a mosque in Sulaimani Province, injuring four people, Sulaimani security stated.
According to witnesses, the group threw grenades at the house of Abdul-Latif Salafi, a well-known preacher in the Kurdistan Region, and at the Bahasht Mosque located near his home.
The attack took place at 9:00 p.m. local time, and it slightly injured three people in the mosque including Salafi.
Security officials have launched an investigation into the attack.
The motive for the attack remains unknown but, according to Salafi, the incident might have been conducted by those loyal to the Islamic State (IS) due to his positive speeches on the role of Peshmerga in fighting the insurgent group.
Salafi told reporters IS often threatened him through social media for supporting Peshmerga forces who have been labeled one of the most effective ground forces in defeating the militants.
He mentioned the attackers were armed and opened fire after fleeing so nobody would follow them.
“Besides [IS], I don’t suspect anyone else because we reveal the truth and stand against them,” Salafi said.
“What [IS] are doing is confusing Islam, and this is not a jihad at all,” he added.
In a statement, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs strongly condemned the attack.
The Kurdish preacher has a local satellite TV channel called Amozhgari where he preaches the Salafi version of Islam to the people of the Region.
Since 2014, IS has repeatedly threatened Kurds as Peshmerga, and Kurdish preachers have stated its ideology contradicts Islam.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany