Daesh attack targeting football pitch in Iraq's Kirkuk leaves 6 dead

Published 25.08.2019 13:13
Updated 26.08.2019 11:21

Police in Iraq say Daesh militants have fired mortar rounds at a football pitch near a Shiite shrine, killing six civilians and wounding nine others.

The attack occurred late Saturday in the village of Daquq, in Iraq's northern Kirkuk province, as people were exercising.

Afsaryav Kamil, a Kirkuk police spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that Daesh were aiming to enter the area through the attack but were prevented by Iraq's Federal Police.

The area of the attack, southeast of the city of Kirkuk, is controlled by Iran-supported militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi).

Turkey condemned the "heinous attack" which it said targeted the "current peace and security environment in Kirkuk."

"We are saddened by the attacks that took place last night (24 August) at a shrine in Tavuk district of Kirkuk," the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, referring to the district's name in Iraqi Turkmen.

The city of Kirkuk and many surrounding districts are home to a sizable Turkmen population.

In mid-2014, Daesh overran roughly one-third of Iraq, including the northern city of Mosul.

By late 2017, the Iraqi army -- with the help of the U.S.-led military coalition -- had recovered most if not all the territories lost to the terrorist group.

Although officials in Baghdad say Daesh's presence in the country has been largely eradicated, the terrorist group has continued to stage sporadic attacks in Iraq's Nineveh, Kirkuk, Diyala, Saladin, and Anbar provinces.

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