KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) – A car bomb killed one person and injured ten in Kirkuk, an Iraqi oil city where local Kurdish authorities plan to hold a referendum on independence despite opposition from the central government and the region’s non-Kurdish population.
The blast targeted a liquor store, according to a security source.
An Iraqi interior ministry statement described the attack as “terrorist aggression” and did not link it to the tension caused by the Kurdish plan to hold the vote, on Sept. 25.
Kirkuk is home to sizeable Arab and Turkmen populations and lies outside the official boundaries of the Kurdistan region. It is claimed by both the Kurds and the central government in Baghdad.
Kurdish peshmerga fighters seized Kirkuk and other disputed territories when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of Islamic State in 2014, preventing its oilfields from falling into militant hands.
Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Robin Pomeroy