ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Unknown attackers have used explosives to damage high-voltage power lines in Kirkuk province for the fifth time in a week, in some instances cutting power to parts of the province.
“Terrorists sabotaged a power transmission line between Erbil and Kirkuk, early morning Friday,” said a statement released by the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity later that day.
The latest bombing took place in the Chaghmagha district and destroyed above-ground transmission lines that supply electricity to Kirkuk province from the Kurdistan Region. According to the ministry, its technical teams were deployed to the area of the attack to repair the damage before it led to a power shortage.
In an earlier statement, the ministry said that the same transmission line was targetted in a village near the Mulla Abdullah Power Station, causing their collapse and shutting off electricity to several areas in Kirkuk.
Last week, the ministry announced that the power supply was interrupted due to similar attacks in other parts of Kirkuk as well as the provinces of Nineveh and Salahuddin, saying, “Terrorists sabotaged three power transmission lines between Diyala-Kirkuk, Dur-Hawija, and Mullah Abdullah-Hawija on [August 10 and 11], which cut the power."
Officials from the ministry previously warned that workers had nearly exhausted their capacity to continue such work and find it increasingly difficult to restore services after an attack because they are running low on equipment and supplies needed to repair damaged power stations and transmission lines.
They have also repeatedly called on Iraqi security forces, as one announcement read, "to track criminals who try to hurt the Iraqi people by targeting the electricity infrastructure."
Electricity is a major issue this summer in Iraq, where chronic power shortages sparked mass demonstrations in several cities in central and southern provinces.
Editing by John J. Catherine