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Kurdistan

Kurdistan Attacks Shatter Calm in Iraq’s Only Peaceful Oasis

By RUDAW 30/9/2013
Hours after the attack Hadi, the Erbil governor, said that the security headquarters will be relocated outside the city.
Hours after the attack Hadi, the Erbil governor, said that the security headquarters will be relocated outside the city.

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Shreds of human flesh mixed with debris outside the security headquarters in Erbil as relatives of victims arrived wailing at the scene, after militants launched a brazen daylight attack that was the first major assault in the Iraqi Kurdish capital since 2007.

The families of security officers arrived in droves, many in tears and desperate for news of their loved ones, as guards struggled to push them back and warned of further possible explosions.

“A minibus driven by a suicide bomber tried to storm the security office in Erbil, but he was fired upon and killed by the guards, and as a result the vehicle exploded,” read a statement from Erbil security.

It said the attacks killed six security officers and injured more than 60 others, most of them members of the security forces and police. Six militants were also killed.

Sunday’s attacks began in the early afternoon after guards opened fire on a minivan that tried to storm into the security headquarters compound in Erbil. The driver detonated explosives inside the vehicle, and immediately after four suicide bombers tried to break into the complex, firing guns and lobbing hand grenades. They were shot dead by security guards.

  These attacks are certainly to deteriorate Kurdistan Region’s stability, but we promise to pursue the terrorists, find them and punish them, 

An ambulance also exploded at the scene, but officials and witnesses were unclear about whether it was driven by one of the militants or caught fire because it was near the scene.

The victims were rushed to hospitals in the Kurdish capital, but according to Erbil Governor Nawzad Hadi two of the injured in critical condition were flown to neighboring Turkey for treatment.

The attack was the first major assault in the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq since 2007, when the same building was targeted in a similar attack. There had been no major security incidents since then, transforming the Kurdish enclave into the only oasis of calm inside Iraq, where bombings and attacks happen nearly daily in different parts of the country.

Erbil security officials said on Sunday that they have foiled many similar attempts in the past six years.

“Kurdistan is in a tense region, therefore we ask you to report to the security forces any suspicious activity,” a security statement urged people.

The bombings shocked Kurdish residents and placed security forces across the region on alert. In Duhok, Sulaimani and Garmiyan security was tightened on checkpoints at border areas with the rest of Iraq.

The style of the latest attack was similar to assaults in other parts of Iraq by al-Qaeda, which supported Sunday’s explosions. “Several bombings target the security HQ and ministry of the interior in Erbil, may God help the attackers,” one of the Tweets said.

A Rudaw correspondent at the scene said some of the attackers had been disguised as Kurdish security forces.

Anwar Haji Osman, deputy minister of the Peshmarga forces told Rudaw TV that 10 days ago his office had received information about a potential suicide bombing. Interior Minister Karim Sinjari told Rudaw that some leads about the planners of Sunday’s attacks had been uncovered, and that more details would be released once investigations have concluded.

“These attacks are certainly to deteriorate Kurdistan Region’s stability, but we promise to pursue the terrorists, find them and punish them,” said Sinjari.

  We strongly condemn this disgusting and inhumane act against the peace and security of the people of Kurdistan, 

Farid Asasard, the president of the Kurdistan Center for Strategic Studies, noted the resemblance of Sunday’s attacks to the other al-Qaeda assaults in other parts of Iraq such as Kirkuk and Baghdad. 

He told the Anadolu news agency that the attacks are an indication of an al-Qaeda presence in the Kurdistan Region as well.

Hours after the attack Hadi, the Erbil governor, said that the security headquarters will be relocated outside the city.

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Nickolay Mladenov, said he was “shocked and concerned by this daring attack in Erbil today.”

“For many years, the city Erbil has benefited from peace and security and I urge the regional and national authorities to work together to ensure that calm and tranquility will continue to prevail and that those responsible for the attack are brought to justice," he said.

Kurdistan’s political parties unanimously condemned Sunday’s attacks. A statement by the Islamic Union read, “We strongly condemn this disgusting and inhumane act against the peace and security of the people of Kurdistan.”

 

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Simko | 30/9/2013
1-It is again Arab islamists targeting Kurds,this time in Hewler.They do it in Rojava every day and the KRG does not protect the Kurds there.As the terrorists do not distinguish between Kurds in Rojava and those in Hewler,the KRG unfortunately does distiguish between the two parts of Kurdistán. 2-The struggle of the Kurds in Rojava is attaining now epical dimensions in a critical historical context with unprdictable outcome including the partition of the former Syria between the main contenders: Alawites,Kurds and Sunnites. 3-Therefore the KRG must understand that it is very likely that the Kurds establish in Rojava an indepenent Kurdistán reaching the Mediterranean see. 4-At this stage the KRG should do everything to help Rojava dragging even the Shiite Iraq to side with Rojava in the face of the common Sunnite enemy. 5-In war as in peace,in diplomacy there are no eternal and granted freinds or enemies,since new alliances emerge in light of the ever changing dynamics of the international relations.
Simko | 30/9/2013
1-It is again Arab islamists targeting Kurds,this time in Hewler.They do it in Rojava every day and the KRG does not protect the Kurds there.As the terrorists do not distinguish between Kurds in Rojava and those in Hewler,the KRG unfortunately does distiguish between the two parts of Kurdistán. 2-The struggle of the Kurds in Rojava is attaining now epical dimensions in a critical historical context with unprdictable outcome including the partition of the former Syria between the main contenders: Alawites,Kurds and Sunnites. 3-Therefore the KRG must understand that it is very likely that the Kurds establish in Rojava an indepenent Kurdistán reaching the Mediterranean see. 4-At this stage the KRG should do everything to help Rojava dragging even the Shiite Iraq to side with Rojava in the face of the common Sunnite enemy. 5-In war as in peace,in diplomacy there are no eternal and granted freinds or enemies,since new alliances emerge in light of the ever changing dynamics of the international relations.
Simko | 30/9/2013
1-It is again Arab islamists targeting Kurds,this time in Hewler.They do it in Rojava every day and the KRG does not protect the Kurds there.As the terrorists do not distinguish between Kurds in Rojava and those in Hewler,the KRG unfortunately does distiguish between the two parts of Kurdistán. 2-The struggle of the Kurds in Rojava is attaining now epical dimensions in a critical historical context with unprdictable outcome including the partition of the former Syria between the main contenders: Alawites,Kurds and Sunnites. 3-Therefore the KRG must understand that it is very likely that the Kurds establish in Rojava an indepenent Kurdistán reaching the Mediterranean see. 4-At this stage the KRG should do everything to help Rojava dragging even the Shiite Iraq to side with Rojava in the face of the common Sunnite enemy. 5-In war as in peace,in diplomacy there are no eternal and granted freinds or enemies,since new alliances emerge in light of the ever changing dynamics of the international relations.
Frederic Malinowski (France) | 30/9/2013
Those cowards who try to put terror everywhere are going to suffer all their life i hope. I planed to come in Erbil because i was there 2 years ago. The people i have met during this first trip make me tell that Kurdistan is not a place for terorists, Kurds are One nation, One people, despite their differencies. I feel so good when i'm in Kurdistan, i feel so safe....so that i will be back in Erbil in 3 weeks to bring you my faith in your country. I love Kurdistan, i trust the nation, i trust kurds to bring peace back!! So definitively, YES I COME BACK !!!
WALLY | 1/10/2013
KURDISH ARE PEACEFUL PEOPLE. HOWEVER WE CANT SAY THE SAME FOR OUR NEIGHBOURS WHO HAAVE INHUMAN WAYS OF EXPRESSING THEMSELVES. THEY ONLY KNOW ONE THING AND THAT IS BLOODSHED. COWARDS. ARABS SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES. ALONG WITH PERSIANS AND TURKS . WHO ALL PROMOTE TERROR ACTS AND SPONSOR IT.
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