Kirkuk bomb attacks: Turkmens main targets

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 20.07.2018 20:01

The target of recent bombings in Iraq's oil-rich city Kirkuk is Turkmens, said a Turkmen leader on Thursday.

Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Arshad al-Salihi said on Thursday that since almost all of the bomb attacks took place in Turkmen neighborhoods, it can clearly be seen that the main targets of the attacks are the Turkmens. Emphasizing that all kinds of democratic actions of Turkmens are being prevented through attacks, Salihi referred to the Turkmens' recent preparations for a new protest against the sudden suspension of the manual counting of the controversial votes.

"They try to break the Turkmens, who are determined to reveal the cheating on the votes, through these kinds of attacks this time," Salihi added.The results of the hard-fought May 12 election remain the subject of bitter dispute amid widespread allegations of voter fraud. Following the elections, the electronic vote counting was controversial, leading many to object to the results and demand the re-count. According to intelligence services, tests of electronic voting machines, used for the first time in Iraqi elections, produced varied results, appearing to give credence to the fraud claims. Since the elections, Iraqi Turkmens and several Arab and Kurd groups in Kirkuk organized many protests against the alleged fraud in the country's first parliamentary elections since the defeat of Daesh.

Salihi further stated that Turkey should realize that Iraqi Turkmens have serious problems and also should intervene into these problems.

At least 10 people were injured in four bombings in Iraq's oil-rich city of Kirkuk, police sources said on Wednesday. A spokesman for the Kirkuk Police, Afsaryav Kamil, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that roadside bombs were planted by unknown persons. Kamil said that the injured were taken to hospitals.

According to the local sources, three explosions occurred in Shorca while another on a Baghdad highway.

Turkey has condemned the bomb attacks in Kirkuk.

"We condemn the bomb attacks on Turkmen-populated neighborhoods of Kirkuk, including a children's hospital. We wish a quick recovery to the many wounded Turkmens," said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy on Thursday.

"We stress our utmost sensitivity to the safety and security of our Turkmen brethren, who constitute a safeguard for Iraq's territorial integrity," he added.

"The government of Iraq should take necessary security measures and foil internal and external groups aiming to destabilize Iraq by creating a new fait accompli in Kirkuk," Aksoy further expressed.

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