KRG, US and Turkey strongly con­demned Ankawa car attack

Er­bil, Wash­ing­ton and Ankara promised to con­tinue con­fronting ter­ror­ism hand in hand to erad­i­cate and de­feat Is­lamic State and its af­fil­i­ated groups.

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Salih wal­ad­bagi

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG), US gov­ern­ment and Turkey strongly con­demned the ter­ror­ist attack tar­geted civil­ians on Fri­day af­ter­noon out­side the heav­ily guarded en­trance of the US Con­sulate in Ankawa, a pre­dom­i­nantly Chris­tian neigh­bour­hood packed with cafes popular with for­eign­ers in the Kur­dish cap­i­tal city of Er­bil.

Ac­cord­ing to the med­i­cal sources, at least two civil­ians were killed, who were Kur­dish from Turkey, and eight oth­ers in­jured, one was Amer­i­can.

“The KRG Coun­cil of Min­is­ters strongly con­demns the ter­ror­ist blast which took place in Ankawa dis­trict, where civil­ians were tar­geted,” KRG state­ment read.

It ad­di­tion­ally said: “This crime, like any other ter­ror­ists’ crime, only strength­ens our de­ter­mi­na­tion to con­front and erad­i­cate them.”

Er­bil’s Se­cu­rity Di­rec­torate Gen­eral an­nounced that the se­cu­rity con­di­tion is sta­ble and ev­ery­thing is un­der con­trol, promis­ing the peo­ple to put all ef­forts to pro­tect them.

The se­cu­rity ex­perts con­firmed that the ter­ror­ist used a kind of plas­tic ex­plo­sive called C-4 as it pro­duced a huge ex­plo­sion, in­cin­er­at­ing sev­eral ve­hi­cles close to the scene.

Marie Harf, act­ing spokesper­son for US State Depart­ment, told re­porters that “no US staff mem­ber” were in­jured and hailed the quick re­sponse of the KRG and the se­cu­rity forces to con­trol the area.

"The lo­cal fire fighters re­sponded quickly to ex­tin­guish the fire. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties also re­sponded and se­cured the area. We ap­pre­ci­ate the rapid re­sponse of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment. We will work with them to in­ves­ti­gate the in­ci­dent to de­ter­mine the facts be­hind the ex­plo­sion,” Harf said.

"It seems the Amer­i­can Con­sulate was the tar­get," Ni­had Qoja, the Mayor of Er­bil's city cen­ter, told Reuters.

Re­gard­ing the Turk­ish cit­i­zens who were killed in the blast, Ankara con­firmed the iden­tity of the vic­tims through the Kur­dish med­i­cal ex­perts.

Ankara, in ad­di­tion, ex­pressed its con­stant sup­port for the KRG to tackle the Is­lamic State group and ter­ror­ism.

Soon af­ter the blast, some twit­ter ac­counts close to the ISIS claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity of the blast and ex­pressed hap­pi­ness due to car­ry­ing it out suc­cess­fully.

Kur­dis­tan Re­gion is an im­por­tant part­ner for the US-led coali­tion in its cam­paign to "de­grade and de­stroy" the Is­lamic State.

Such at­tacks are rel­a­tively rare in Kur­dis­tan, which has man­aged to in­su­late it­self from the worst of the vi­o­lence plagu­ing the rest of Iraq.

The last ma­jor attack in Er­bil, also claimed by the Is­lamic State, was in Novem­ber, when a sui­cide car bomber blew him­self up out­side the gover­nor's of­fice, killing five.

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