ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated on Saturday, injuring two farmers in a village near the disputed Iraqi town of Jalawla, just eight days after three other farmers were wounded in a similar incident.
“The explosion took place in the village of Islah in Jalawla while the farmers were busy working on their crops,” a security source told Kurdistan 24 as the two wounded farmers were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
On Sept. 20, three farmers were wounded, one of them critically, in a blast caused by another IED that went off beneath a tractor in Jalawla.
The bombing took place in the village of Umm al-Hanta, an area that in the past few years has seen multiple acts of violence including bombings that have wounded several civilians.
No group has claimed responsibility for either incident, but the attack is similar to others the so-called Islamic State has previously carried out in the region. Since the group also frequently hid explosive traps in houses, within roads, under bridges, and buried in farmland, it is possible that the IEDs were planted when Jalawla was under Islamic State control in 2014 and have just been disturbed for the first time since then.
Jalawla, also known as Gulala in Kurdish, is located in Diyala province and is one of the disputed territories between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq. The town is currently under the control of Iraqi troops since October 2017 following their attack and military takeover of Kirkuk and other disputed regions from the Kurdistan Region’s Peshmerga forces.
Islamic State activity has increased over the past several months in many areas, especially in the provinces of Diyala, Kirkuk, Salahuddin, Anbar, and Nineveh, despite recent Iraqi anti-terrorism operations.
On Friday night, Islamic State gunmen killed three and wounded others in an attack against border guards outside the city of Khanaqin, about 35 km (20 miles) away and also in Diyala province.
Although Iraq under former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared a “final victory” against the terrorist organization in December 2017, it continues to carry out a sustained campaign of insurgent attacks. These include bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings, often in remote villages and regions where security forces have difficulty monitoring Islamic State activity.
Editing by John J. Catherine