ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Federal Police on Thursday confirmed two of their members were killed during a suicide attack at a checkpoint in the province of Kirkuk.
The attack took place early morning when a car bomb drove into a checkpoint and detonated. The blast occurred in the al-Abbasi subdistrict southwest of Kirkuk—a disputed province between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) which is now solely under the control of the Iraqi forces and Iran-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias since last year’s military takeover.
“A suicide bomber driving the explosives-rigged car blew himself up as security personnel tried to prevent the vehicle from entering a checkpoint to the town of al-Abbasi,” a source within the Federal Police told Kurdistan 24 shortly after the incident.
The town, the source explained, is near the province’s city of Hawija, which was the last urban stronghold of the Islamic State (IS) organization in northern Iraq.
The source added that the suicide bomber, wearing a police uniform, most likely planned to enter the town and launch an attack on government offices.
On Wednesday, nearly 20 Iraqi security forces were killed or wounded during another car bombing at a joint Hashd al-Shaabi-Iraqi security forces checkpoint in Anbar Province’s city of al-Qaim.
No party has claimed responsibility for the attack in Kirkuk. However, IS took responsibility for the incident that occurred in Anbar Province, claiming they had killed 28.
Despite Iraq declaring “final victory” over the militants last December, the group continues to launch insurgency-style operations, kidnappings, and ambushes.
Editing by Nadia Riva