ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A car bomb exploded in central Kirkuk's al-Mamduda neighborhood on Saturday night, killing one and wounding seven more, security and health sources said.
Following the blast, ambulances dispatched to the scene and transferred wounded people to nearby hospitals. A source from the hospital told Kurdistan 24, “The explosion initially wounded eight people that later one died from his injuries.”
Children were among the victims, the source added, but did not specify their number or age.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility by any group, but it is consistent with attacks previously conducted in and around Kirkuk in recent years by Islamic State (IS) militants.
Since the Oct. 16 military takeover of the disputed province by Iraqi forces and Shia militias in response to the Kurdistan Region's controversial independence referendum, Kirkuk has been witnessing increasing attacks, car bombs, kidnappings, and ambushes by armed groups.
On Thursday, another explosion, this one a roadside bomb, rocked central Kirkuk, killing one and injuring at least five others. It occurred near a pedestrian bridge along a string of tire shops in an area called Baghdad Road; a market densely crowded with civilians.
A security source told Kurdistan 24 that an IED was hidden on the side of the road and exploded when government staff members were passing, on their way to their workplace.
Kirkuk is an oil-rich province located in the south of the Kurdistan Region and north of Iraq. It is a multi-ethnic region with a diverse religious background, made up of Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs, and Christians. Kurds account for the majority of the population.
On Tuesday, a group of local activists called on shopkeepers in the province to launch a one-hour strike to mark the 1st anniversary of the Oct. 16 ouster of Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk.
The Social Coalition of Kirkuk People, a civic group in the oil-rich province, held a press conference strongly criticizing the current situation and “imposed military rule” in Kirkuk.
Editing by John J. Catherine