KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Kurdish Peshmerga forces on Thursday defused an improvised explosive device (IED) between the oil wells of Bai Hassan and Qaracham in the northwest of Kirkuk Province.
The bomb was defused Thursday morning at 5:20 am local time, according to the Kurdistan24 Correspondent in Kirkuk.
The IED was planted about 200 meters between the two oil wells, which according to economists, would have gravely damaged the Kurdistan Region's economy.
Peshmerga forces in the area told Kurdistan24 that the bomb was most likely planted by the Islamic State (IS) as they might have sneaked into the area through some nearby villages.
Hawija city is one of the remaining hotbeds of the jihadist group in Iraq, located in the west of Kirkuk Province. The city has been under the control of IS since June 2014.
Kirkuk officials, including Governor Najmaddin Karim and head of Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) Rebwar Talabani, have repeatedly mentioned that IS's presence in Hawija poses an enormous security threat to Kirkuk, calling on the federal government of Iraq to accelerate its plan to liberate the city from IS.
Editing by G.H. Renaud