Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) An explosive device went off on Sunday south of Kirkuk, killing and wounding four members of the Kurdish Peshmerga troops.
A security source was quoted by Mawazin news website saying that the bomb exploded at Daqouq region, south of the province, killing and wounding four Peshmerga members.
Islamic State militants continue to step up attacks against security forces even after they lost their biggest stronghold in Iraq, Mosul, which Iraqi forces recaptured last month, marking a symbolic collapse of the group’s “caliphate” proclaimed in 2014.
The Iraqi government plans to aim at the few remaining IS havens in the country, including Kirkuk. Official statements suggest that the next target for operations would be the IS stronghold town of Tal Afar, west of Nineveh.
Peshmerga fighters have been part of the U.S.-backed military campaign to retake IS-held areas which launched in October. Their participation has not, however, been free of tensions as the Kurdistan Region Government and Baghdad engaged in occasional diplomatic spats over Peshemrga’s deployment at liberated areas for which both governments claim sovereignty.
Violence and armed conflicts left more than 500 dead and wounded in Iraq during July, according to a monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).