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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs