ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An improvised explosive device (IED) targeted an Iraqi Federal Police patrol unit in western Kirkuk Province on Tuesday, killing one officer and injuring four others in the blast, local media reported.
The incident occurred in the al-Rashad subdistrict of Kirkuk Province, one security source reportedly said, adding that the police had surrounded the area and transported the wounded personnel to the nearest hospital for medical treatment, according to Alsumaria.
On Monday, the Iraqi security communications center, Security Media Cell (SMC), announced in a statement the arrest of an alleged leader of the Islamic State group in central Kirkuk city, in the al-Wahda neighborhood, located about 40 kilometers northeast of the location of the bombing.
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, threatenening 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.
Editing by Nadia Riva