IS claims responsibility for attempted assassination of Turkmen candidate in Kirkuk

Ammar Kahiya, a candidate from the Iraqi Turkmen Front party in the upcoming national legislative elections was injured in the explosion, which occurred near an Iraqi police checkpoint in Kirkuk’s Arab-populated Khadhra neighborhood.
author_image Sangar Ali

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility on Sunday for a car bombing that appeared to be an assassination attempt on a Turkmen candidate last week in the south of Kirkuk province.

Ammar Kahiya, a candidate from the Iraqi Turkmen Front party in the upcoming national legislative elections, was injured in the explosion which occurred near an Iraqi police checkpoint in Kirkuk’s Arab-populated Khadhra neighborhood. The blast from the car bomb also killed one person and wounded 11 others.

IS claimed responsibility for the explosion in its weekly magazine, al-Nabaa, stating its members detonated a car in that location.

The jihadist group's statement went on to claimed that the explosion wounded Kahiya and three others, numbers lower than those released by local security and health officials and reported by the media.

Kahiya was touring the neighborhood as part of his campaign to win a seat in the Iraqi parliament in elections scheduled for May 12.

On Sunday, IS issued a public warning, claiming its militants would target voters across Iraq on election day.

In an audiotape, IS extremists said “all those who support or participate in the elections” would be a target. The jihadist group stated it would strike polling stations and told Sunni Iraqis to stay clear of them or risk being killed.

The audio message called on its followers across the world to launch attacks in Iraq, Syria, Russia, and Iran, as well as Europe and the US.

Iraq has witnessed an IS resurgence of its own in recent months with the group claiming a string of bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in areas previously liberated by Iraqi forces.

There are 6986 candidates who have been certified to run in next month's elections, competing for 329 seats in Baghdad's parliament.

Editing by John J. Catherine