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Rare bombings in Iraqi Kurdistan wound senior officers

Two bombings against security forces in the normally peaceful Kurdish region left two senior officers wounded

Published: Updated:

Two near-simultaneous bombings against security forces in the normally peaceful Kurdish region of northern Iraq left two senior officers wounded on Monday, an official said.

The twin magnetic “sticky bombs” attached to the vehicles of a brigadier general and a colonel in the Kurdish Peshmerga forces went off minutes apart at about 7:30 am (0430 GMT) in the same neighborhood of Sulaimaniyah, the autonomous Kurdistan region’s second-biggest city.

The two officers were wounded in the attacks, according to Brigadier General Hassan Nuri, chief of the Asayesh internal Kurdish security forces in Sulaimaniyah province.

Nuri said investigations were ongoing into the bombings in the three-province Kurdish region which is normally insulated from the daily bloodshed in the Arab-dominated southern and western regions of the country.

It follows a massive Al-Qaeda attack on Asayesh headquarters in the Kurdish capital Arbil on September 29 involving suicide bombers, car bombs and gunfire, killing seven people overall and leaving more than 60 wounded.

Swathes of Iraq are still plagued by near-daily violence more than 10 years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. Nearly 700 people were killed nationwide last month, and over 6,000 people have died this year, according to an AFP tally.

But unlike some areas of Iraq that saw bloody Sunni-Shiite sectarian unrest in the years after the invasion, religiously and ethnically homogenous Kurdistan was largely spared the violence.

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