News / Middle East

Iraq Attacks Kill 26, Many in Kurdish-Claimed Areas

Iraqi Kurdish area
Iraqi Kurdish area
Iraqi authorities say bombings and shootings across the country have killed at least 26 people, about half of them in northern regions whose territory is disputed between autonomous Iraqi Kurds and Baghdad's central government.

In one of Monday's deadliest attacks, a car bomb killed seven people in a village near the northern city of Mosul in Iraq's Nineveh province. The village is inhabited by the Shabak ethnic minority.

Another two car bombs exploded in a Shi'ite district of the town of Tuz Khormato in Salah al-Din province, killing five people. Several bombs also went off around the town of Baquba in Diyala province, killing one person.

Disputed regions

Nineveh, Salah al-Din and Diyala provinces all border Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, which wants to incorporate Kurdish-populated parts of those provinces into its territory, over Baghdad's strong objections.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks, which marked the second consecutive day of violence in internally-disputed regions claimed by Iraqi Kurdistan.

Kirkuk provincial governor Najmaldin Karim told VOA that authorities believe al-Qaida terrorists carried out the latest attacks to try to enflame sectarian tensions and political differences between Iraqi Kurdistan and the federal government.

"There have been terrorist activities in these areas many time before," Karim said. "The pattern [of the latest attacks] is similar to what [al-Qaida] has done in the past, and the targeted areas are places in which they are active."

On Sunday, bombs targeting Iraqi Shi'ites killed at least six people in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, home to a mix of ethnic Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. A car bomb also struck a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan office in the Diyala town of Jalawla, killing two recruits seeking to join a Kurdish peshmerga security force.

Some of the Kirkuk blasts happened near Shi'ite mosques. Speaking by phone from Kirkuk, Karim said militants often switch their targets between Shi'ite and Kurdish areas. "It just depends on where they get the opportunity and where they can create more mistrust between the communities," he said.

Iraqi challenges

The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in December 2011 has made it tougher for their Iraqi government allies to secure the country. "A vacuum was left," Karim said. "Some of the listening and surveillance capabilities [of the U.S. forces] no longer exist. We are trying to train our police so that they can manage to combat those terrorist groups."

Karim also called for better coordination between Baghdad and provincial governments in training Iraqi security forces.

At least 13 people were killed in Monday's other attacks in Iraq. Two car bombs went off in different parts of the Iraqi capital, killing six people at a car dealership and one person in downtown Baghdad.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in public More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Allan
December 17, 2012 11:57 PM
Why article 140 in iraqi constitution hasn't been called to hold a referendum in disputed areas to resolve the conflict yet??!!. The kurds and Iraqi government should prepare for that referendum as son as they can.

The Kurds and Iraqis have different values, culture and social relations and interactions that lead to different rules and laws. Iraqi arabs believe in Islam to be the source of all the laws and The Kurds believe in laws that are in alignment with human rights.

Obviously you cannot have these two totally different views governing one place. It should be either the former or the laters laws that can be implemented in disputed areas. There is no way for both laws governing one place, if we want an end to chaos in those areas!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid