ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Multiple explosions rocked the contested province of Kirkuk on Thursday night, leaving many casualties, a source in the area told Kurdistan 24.
According to initial reports, seven explosions were heard in the center of the province near the Peace Mall on Jerusalem Street.
A source in the area told Kurdistan 24 the incident left many killed and injured.
Iraq’s Security Media Cell released a statement confirming the attack and said six Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) exploded in the province, adding security personnel managed to defuse two of them.
A local hospital in Kirkuk said the attacks left at least three people dead and 18 others injured, Reuters reported.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident.
Kirkuk, a disputed province between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi government, has been subject to instability since a military takeover by Iraqi troops and Shia militias in response to the Kurdistan Region’s historic referendum in 2017.
The Kurdish Peshmerga had advanced to protect the area following the 2014 emergence of the so-called Islamic State and did so successfully before they were ousted from the region in October 2017.
In recent days, Kirkuk has seen a rise in insurgent attacks. On Wednesday, a Kurdish youth was killed and several more injured by Islamic State militants in the province’s Daquq district after they tried to extinguish a fire at their wheat fields, local security sources said.
Although Iraq declared military defeat over the Islamic State in December 2017, the terrorist group continues to carry out insurgency-style attacks in formerly liberated areas, like Mosul, as well as even places it never controlled, like the nation’s capital of Baghdad.