ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Parliament speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi on Tuesday called for new safety protocols and an increase of security forces in “liberated areas” as insurgent-style attacks continue to threaten stability.
Halbousi’s call came in a statement his office issued condemning a “terrorist attack” earlier in the day via a car bomb in a market in the southern town of Qayyara, killing at least five people and injuring dozens.
“The repetition of terrorist incidents in liberated areas and cities requires an urgent pause to… develop new security programs that will protect citizens and promote stability in those areas,” the statement read.
Halbousi called for an increase in the number of local police and security services in those cities.
The speaker also urged local people to “provide as much assistance as possible” to the authorities “to protect their areas and thwart terrorist schemes.”
No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Islamic State (IS) militants have carried out similar assaults in other parts of the country.
Iraq’s top military commander in Mosul, Major-General Najim al-Jabouri, accused the extremist group of carrying out the bombing.
An interior ministry spokesperson said the blast was a result of a “terrorist attack by a car bomb.”
Qayyara, an oil-rich town, has enjoyed a relatively stable security situation since Iraqi forces recaptured it in August 2016.
Iraqi lawmaker Ahmed al-Jabouri stated on his Twitter account that the explosion was a “terrorist” attack, and described it as a “dangerous incident,” the likes of which has not occurred in that town since its liberation from IS.
Despite Iraq declaring a victory against the extremist group last December, IS continues to launch sporadic attacks, including bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in previously liberated areas.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany