ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Separate bomb attacks on Sunday and Monday targeted Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias, Iraqi forces, and the office of a Turkmen party in the disputed province of Kirkuk.
According to Iraqi media outlet al-Sumeriya, two roadside bombs on Monday targeted a Hashd al-Shaabi convoy in southwestern Kirkuk.
A security source told al-Sumeriya that four Hashd al-Shaabi fighters were wounded in the bomb attack on the Kirkuk-Riyadh sub-district road.
In another incident, a bomb exploded near the office of the Turkmen Front Party located on Baghdad road in Kirkuk’s Adhar neighborhood. However, no casualties were reported.
Meanwhile, on New Year’s Eve, two attacks occurred in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, one of them an RPG assault on an Iraqi army position in the Shorija neighborhood. The perpetrators and the number of casualties were not identified.
In the second incident, five civilians were wounded in a bomb blast that targeted a coffee shop on al-Quds Street in central Kirkuk, a security source told Shafaq News.
Due to the deteriorating security situation in the province of Kirkuk since the Oct. 16, 2017, attack and takeover by Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias, such incidents are becoming a norm.
The disputed province of Kirkuk had been under the protection of Kurdish Peshmerga forces since 2014, following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) and the collapse of the Iraqi army.
IS sleeper cells have recently launched several attacks on Iraqi security forces and Hashd al-Shaabi in different areas of Kirkuk, killing and wounding many.
Over the weekend, the head of the northern branch of the Badr Army, closely aligned with Iran, escaped an attempted kidnapping from a crowded market in central Kirkuk.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany