ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Terrorist attacks using car bombs are re-emerging, and assassinations of village leaders and striking electrical grid remain persistent in contested areas in October, the Kurdistan Region’s Security Council (KRSC) announced on Sunday.
The KRSC’s statistics for the month indicate “a re-emergence of [vehicle-borne improvised explosive device] VBIED-based attacks in Kirkuk and Mosul,” the Kurdish security agency said in a tweet.
“Targeted assassinations against mokhtars [village chieftains] and attacks on electricity infrastructure continued unabated,” the social media post added.
At least five VBIED attacks targeted security forces and civilians, while security forces defused two others. On Oct. 13, in Mamdouda neighborhood, Kirkuk, a VBIED injured six individuals. Ten days later, a VBIED struck in Gayyara, killing over 10 and injuring up to 30 others, the KRSC said without mentioning whether the Islamic State (IS) had taken responsibility for the operations in question.
In October 2017, Iraqi troops and Iran-backed militias advanced with tanks to drive Kurdish Peshmerga forces from Kirkuk and other disputed territories. The move was Baghdad’s response to the Kurdistan Region’s historic independence referendum a month earlier.
However, since then, the areas have experienced waves of instability as civilians complain the Iraqi forces are unable to protect them from terror as the Peshmerga did.
Targeting areas of low security, in three operations on Oct. 2, 10, and 20, IS killed the chieftains of the villages of Rabza, Jasmiya, and Karim Daoud respectively. The areas lie in the provinces of Kirkuk and Diyala.
The extremist group also targets major electric towers and transmission lines, using explosives to damage high-voltage power lines as they continue to carry out insurgency-style attacks.
On Oct. 17, IS detonated the electricity tower near Khuzaifiya village, cutting off power in Hawija. The next day, an IED targeted a vehicle belonging to the Northern Oil Company (NOC) Police Guards in Maftoul village, Rashad, injuring five personnel, the KRSC said.
The KRSC logged 40 incidents involving IEDs. One attack on Oct. 20 targeted an Iraqi security forces vehicle on the Kirkuk-Hawija road, injuring several police officers.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany