Car bombing in Iraq’s Erbil kills one, wounds four

A rare attack in the northern city of Erbil kills car driver and injures two women and two children in the same vehicle.

Map of Iraq showing the location of Erbil.

One person was killed and four others were injured when a vehicle exploded in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, the counterterrorism service of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region has said.

An explosive device attached to the bottom of the car detonated at about 1pm (10:00 GMT) on Friday, killing the driver and injuring two women and two children who were in the car, it said in a statement.

The counterterrorism service has opened an investigation into the incident, the statement added.

The Kurdistan 24 news outlet said the explosion took place in the Sarbasti neighbourhood in Erbil, adding that firefighters were working to extinguish the fire at the scene.

A Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party official, who spoke to the Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity, identified the driver who was killed as 41-year-old Hawkar Abdullah Rasoul and the two women injured as Rasoul’s wife and sister.

Rasoul was a colonel in the PUK counterterrorism service, the official said.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which controls the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil, and the PUK, which dominates areas along the Iranian border and has its headquarters in Sulaimaniyah, are the two main parties ruling the Kurdish region.

The semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq has long been viewed as a haven of stability in the war-ravaged country, but it has not been completely spared from attacks and strikes from neighbouring states.

It is home to several international NGOs and has developed its infrastructure and projects at a faster pace than the rest of Iraq.

But it has often been caught in the crosshairs of geopolitical conflict among neighbouring countries, having recently been the target of strikes by Iran and Turkey.

On September 28, Iran targeted positions of Iranian-Kurdish rebel groups in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, killing 14 people and wounding 58, including civilians.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies