ERBIL, Kurdistan 24 (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish journalist was the latest victim of a random attack on Saturday as violence continues to increase in the disputed province of Kirkuk.
Unknown gunmen threw a grenade at the home of Kurdish journalist Ako Rasheed, a photographer working for Reuters in the Shorija neighborhood, eastern Kirkuk.
Rasheed said he and his family were awakened by the sound of an explosion outside the gates of his home, Kirkuk-based Kirkuk News reported.
“The explosion resulted in only material damage without any human casualties,” Rasheed said.
“I do not know who targeted him, especially since he does not have a problem with anyone,” one of the journalists’ neighbors stated.
Authorities said they had opened an investigation into the attack.
The oil-rich province has witnessed a string of unclaimed attacks since Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias’ military takeover of the disputed region.
On Oct. 16, the Iraqi army and Hashd al-Shaabi stormed Kirkuk and used military force to reclaim control of the province which had been under the protection of Kurdish Peshmerga since 2014 when the Islamic State (IS) emerged.
During the extremist group’s early blitzkrieg of the country, the Iraqi army collapsed, and Peshmerga forces advanced to secure Kirkuk and other disputed territories from IS’ threat.
Kirkuk is home to a mix of Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Christians, and is one of the most disputed territories between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack which comes at a time where killings, robberies, kidnappings, and other criminal activities are on the rise in Kirkuk since the takeover by Iraqi forces and Shia militias.