05/31/2019, 10.18
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Kirkuk, series of suspected ISIS blasts causes several deaths and injuries

At least six explosions hit the central area of ​​the city. The attacks at the end of the Iftar, the evening meal that interrupted the fast during Ramadan. According to some sources there are at least six dead and twenty wounded. The attacks seem to confirm the change in the strategy of the Islamic State.

Kirkuk (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A series of explosions - at least six but could be even more - hit the city of Kirkuk late yesterday evening, causing several deaths and injuries. The security forces of the northern oil city, disputed between Baghdad and Erbil, have also defused two other bombs ready to explode.

According to some sources there would be at least six deaths, but the number could still be higher and there is no official data. There are about 20 wounded, some of whom are in serious condition.

At the moment there are no official claims of the attacks. However, the head of the Kirkuk security forces Saad Harbya points the finger at the militias of the Islamic State (IS; ex Isis). Interviewed by Rudaw TV, he accuses the jihadist group of trying to "react" to the "harsh attacks" of the Iraqi army.

Bombs exploded in the center of Kirkuk, in a commercial area where there are several shops and businesses, cafes and restaurants, spreading panic among the people present. The explosions followed each other in rapid succession at the end of the Iftar, the evening meal that marks the end of the daily fast during Ramadan, when the streets are crowded and the shops crowded with people.

In the following hours the police blocked all the accesses to the places of the explosions, allowing access only to the ambulances engaged in the rescue of the wounded.

The methods of the attacks, if carried out by ISIS jihadists, are a further confirmation of a change in the strategy of the group which, having archived the "Caliphate" project, today seems to focus on guerrilla warfare. And the new tactic adopted by the Islamic State seems to be winning, as evidenced by the numerous attacks that have occurred in the last period on a global level.

Kirkuk, a disputed area between the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan and the central government of Baghdad, has been the subject of instability and attacks for some time, which have become more acute following the referendum (autonomous Kurdish) of 2017 and the military response of the army and the Shiite militias.

In 2014 the Peshmerga, the Kurdish fighters, had established a barrier to the advance of ISIS and prevented the fall of the city and the province, strategic for the enormous quantities of oil contained in the subsoil. Kurdish militias were then expelled in October 2017, following the offensive launched by Baghdad against jihadist groups in the north of the country.

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