Bombs kill four Kurds in Iraq's disputed areas

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:40am EST
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By Mustafa Mahmoud

KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) - Bombs targeting ethnic Kurds killed four people on Tuesday in the city of Kirkuk in Iraq's disputed northern territories, where the Iraqi army and troops from the autonomous Kurdistan region have been in stand-off for more than a week.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attacks although Sunni Islamist insurgents including a local affiliate of al Qaeda continue to strike regularly, killing 144 people across Iraq in October alone.

The latest bomb attacks come after troops from Baghdad and the Kurdistan region moved in last week on the territories over which both the central government and the Kurds claim jurisdiction.

On Tuesday a car bomb exploded meters away from the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the contested city of Kirkuk killing two people, police said. A second explosion followed in the same area, killing a third person, according to a security source.

"When the explosion happened, I felt the house was collapsing on us," said 22-year-old Ahmed Germi, a Kurd living in the house adjacent to the KDP's office, whose clothes were stained with blood.

Kurdish residents of Kirkuk were blocking roads with rubbish bins and other obstacles to prevent potential attackers from entering their area, a Reuters reporter said. Police sirens wailed and the smell of smoke, blood and gunpowder filled the air.

A car bomb in another Kurdish district of Kirkuk killed at least one person. The three blasts also wounded 38 people, police and hospital sources said.

"Problems were created by the officials but we are the victims," Germi said through tears.   Continued...