ISIS 'sticky bombs' cause at least 18 casualties in Kirkuk: Health official
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two explosions caused by adhesive so-called "sticky bombs" exploded on a bus and another vehicle on Thursday evening in the outskirts of the disputed city of Kirkuk, with early reports indicating that one was killed and 17 others were injured.
One incident occurred in the Khazra neighborhood, located in the westernmost part of the city, and another was in central Kirkuk. Local sources said that security forces have arrived in the area and creating a perimeter for investigations.
“The life of one of them is in danger,” Karim Wali, head of Kirkuk’s Health Department, told Kurdistan 24.
“A number of the victims burned inside the bus.”
Among the victims are women, children, and elderly persons, the Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) said in a statement shortly following the incident.
Although no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, the KPC accused the Islamic State of having been behind it, as it bears the hallmarks of other incidents that have occurred in the region.
Despite the passing of over a year since the territorial fall of the Islamic State, members of the group have continued to carry out insurgency-style attacks in rural parts of Kirkuk, as well as other areas in Iraq that the terrorist organization controlled when they gained prominence in 2014.
The security situation in Kirkuk—a territory disputed between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Iraqi government—has remained precarious despite the territorial collapse of the Islamic State in Iraq over a year ago. The group continues to wage an insurgency in areas with weak security and little cooperation between security forces, threatening the livelihoods of civilians.
Along with bombings and kidnappings in recent months, the region was also hit by brush fires that engulfed agricultural lands, a significant portion of which belong to Kurdish farmers, and for a number of which the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Residents of rural areas of Kirkuk and surrounding villages have been raising alarm bells in recent months over the presence of Islamic State militants who have been demanding villagers pay taxes or see their crops and livelihoods burn down.
On Tuesday, an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted an Iraqi Federal Police patrol unit in the western part of Kirkuk Province, with initial casualty reports claiming one officer had been killed while four others had been injured.
Editing by John J. Catherine