ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A car bomb went off near the Abu Layla restaurant in west Mosul on Thursday leaving many casualties, security forces said.
Iraqi security forces were known to frequent the restaurant, AFP reported.
The conflict monitor, Mosul Eye, said it was the second “VBIED (car bomb) in less than a week inside Mosul, this time in a crowded area close to Abu Layla restaurant [which] left five injured, three killed.”
The blast was the first of its kind in western Mosul since the region’s liberation from the so-called Islamic State (IS) in July 2017.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, IS has carried out similar attacks in the past.
The attack is one of several recent ones in the province. On Oct. 25, a car bomb near a market in south Mosul left five people killed, and many more injured.
David M. Witty, an adjunct professor at Norwich University and former advisor to the counter-terrorism service in Iraq, says IS activity in Mosul and surrounding areas has indeed increased in recent months.
“Residents and local officials have been calling for increased security,” He told Kurdistan 24. “It is not surprising this has happened.”
On Sunday, The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) warned that terrorist attacks using car bombs are re-emerging, and assassinations of village leaders and the striking of electrical grid remain persistent in contested areas in October.
The KRSC’s statistics for the month indicate “a re-emergence of [vehicle-borne improvised explosive device] VBIED-based attacks in Kirkuk and Mosul,” the Kurdish security agency said in a tweet.
According to casualty figures the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) recorded for October, 69 civilians were killed, and another 105 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence, and armed conflict in the country.
The UNAMI said the figures were the lowest monthly casualty numbers since the organization began publishing them in November 2012.
Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, described the update as “a positive indicator and shows that the country is gradually coming out of the cycle of violence.”
However, KRSC statistics show that violence is on the rise in the governorates of Kirkuk and Mosul.
The KRSC logged 40 incidents involving IEDs in October, including the targeting of an Iraqi security forces vehicle on the Kirkuk-Hawija road, injuring several police officers.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany