KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – On Thursday night, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated under a Peshmerga military vehicle in Kirkuk’s Daquq town, killing and injuring five soldiers.
“The incident took place around 10:30 pm near the village of Tamoor,” a Peshmerga Commander from Daquq told Kurdistan 24 on Friday.
“The explosion killed three Peshmerga and wounded two more,” he said.
The Commander stated the Peshmerga soldiers were traveling from Dibij village to Tamoor and the bomb was planted on the road connecting the two villages.
Islamic State (IS) movements have increased in southern Kirkuk over the past few months. The jihadist group continues to attack Peshmerga front lines near Kirkuk’s town of Khurmatu.
Zarga is another village where IS often plants roadside bombs to target Peshmerga convoys in the area.
Peshmerga has been one of the most effective ground forces in the fight against the IS. Since the emergence of the jihadist group in northern Iraq mid-2014, over 1,700 Peshmerga soldiers have fallen while fighting the militants and more than 12,000 wounded.
Kirkuk officials have repeatedly called on the federal government to accelerate plans to liberate the neighboring city of Hawija from IS, maintaining it poses a serious security threat on Kirkuk.
Kirkuk is a diverse province consisting of Turkmen, Arabs, and Christians and a Kurdish majority. It is home to half a million internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled from other parts of Iraq from the threat of IS.
Editing by G.H. Renaud