Rare bombing in Iraq Kurdish region targets general

Rare bombing in Iraq Kurdish region targets general

SULAIMANIYAH - Agence France-Presse
A bombing targeting a general in northern Iraq Jan.12 damaged his vehicle but left him unharmed, an official said, the latest of several attacks in the normally peaceful Kurdish region in recent months.

The magnetic "sticky bomb" attached to Brigadier General Bakhtiyar Fayikh's car detonated around 8:00 a.m. outside his home in eastern Sulaimaniyah, the second-biggest city in the three-province autonomous region of Kurdistan. Fayikh is a member of the asayesh, the Kurdish region's internal security force.

Asayesh spokesman Rizgar Hama Amin said the blast damaged Fayikh's car but left him unharmed, while Fayikh himself told journalists the blast was a "terrorist operation."

In early December, two near-simultaneous sticky bombs wounded two other senior Kurdish security officers, while a massive assault on asayesh headquarters in the Kurdish capital Arbil on Sept. 29, later claimed by an al-Qaeda-linked group, killed seven people.

Unlike some areas of Iraq that saw bloody Sunni-Shiite sectarian unrest after the U.S.-led invasion, the uatonomous Kurdish region was largely spared the violence and is mostly insulated from the bloodshed in other, Arab-dominated regions of the country.

The Kurdish region largely operates autonomously of Baghdad, with its own security forces - made up of the peshmerga and asayesh - and has its own parliament and visa regime.

Car bomb against army recruits 

Meanwhile, a car bomb targeting army recruits killed at least eight people and wounded 12 in Baghdad on Jan. 12, security and medical officials said.

The bombing occurred near a taxi and bus station where men who had submitted applications to join the army were preparing to return to their homes.

The blast followed another against army recruits in the capital on Jan. 8, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt, killing 23 people.

Swathes of Iraq are still plagued by near-daily violence with more than 6,800 people killed as a result of violence in 2013, and more than 400 have already died this year, according to an AFP tally.