(AhlulBayt News Agency) - An Iraqi security official says at least six people have lost their lives when twin bomb attacks targeted the country’s oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attacks left twelve others wounded.
The attackers struck near a former police station used by member of the pro-government Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades), a group formed by Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, on Atlas Street in central Kirkuk, located 238 kilometers (148 miles) north of the capital Baghdad.
The first attacker blew up an explosives-rigged car, followed by the second, who used an explosive belt, the official added.
Iraqi security forces, backed by fighters from Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, in mid-October seized Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga forces in the wake of a Kurdish independence vote.
The referendum on the secession of the Kurdistan region was held on September 25 despite strong opposition from Iraqi authorities, the international community, and Iraq's neighboring countries, especially Turkey and Iran.
Following the vote, Baghdad imposed a ban on direct international flights to the Kurdish region and called for a halt to its independent crude oil sales.
On October 12, an Iraqi government spokesman said Baghdad had set a series of conditions that the KRG needed to meet before any talks on the resolution of the referendum crisis could start.
“The KRG must first commit to Iraq's unity. The local authorities in the [Kurdistan] region… must accept the sovereign authority of the federal government on… oil exports, [as well as] security and border protection, including land and air entry points,” the unnamed Iraqi official added.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has already demanded the annulment of the referendum.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for Sunday’s deadly attacks, but such assaults bear the hallmarks of those carried out by Takfiri ISIS terrorists.
Latest figures released by the United Nations show that acts of terrorism and violence left more than one hundred people dead in Iraq in October as Iraqi forces were trying to expel ISIS terrorist from their last bastions in the country.
According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), a total of 114 Iraqi civilians lost their lives and 244 others were injured last month.
The worst-affected area, with the highest number of casualties, was the capital province of Baghdad, where violence took the lives of 39 civilians and left 139 others wounded.
The troubled western province of Anbar saw 36 deaths and 55 injuries. Eighteen people also died and 33 others were wounded in Iraq’s oil-rich northern province of Kirkuk.