May 9, 2007
Firemen evacuate a victim from the rubble of a
collapsed building after a bomb attack in Erbil, May
9, 2007 Reuters
Kurdistani soldiers and residents stand near a
crater at the site of a bomb attack in Erbil May 9,
Kurdish soldiers stand near a building damaged in a
bomb attack in Erbil, May 9, 2007 Reuters
A Kurdish policeman looks after a man injured in a
truck bomb explosion in Erbil, the capital of Iraq's
normally calm Kurdistan autonomous region, 9 May
Erbil, Kurdistan region (Iraq), May 9, -- A
truck bomb killed 19 people and wounded 70 on
Wednesday in front of the Kurdish interior ministry
the capital city of Kurdistan, Erbil, in
one of the few bomb attacks in the relatively
peaceful Kurdistan region since the U.S.-led
liberation of Iraq in 2003.
"At least 19 people were killed and 70 wounded --
five of them grieviously," regional health minister
Zerian Abdel Rahman told AFP at the site of the
blast. "There were women and children among the
The blast damaged the front of Erbil's heavily
guarded interior ministry and security department.
While insurgent car and truck bombings are an almost
daily scourge in central Iraq, this was a rare
incident in Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region, which
has been spared the bulk of the sectarian violence
raging further south.
First Lieutenant Mariwan Kareem, from the local
security forces, said the blast was caused by a
truck packed with explosives and covered with
kitchen cleaning products that were apparently
intended to hide the payload.
The bomb in central Erbil, capital of Kurdistan,
went off near the Kurdish government's interior
ministry, a Reuters reporter at the scene said.
Television images showed Kurdish soldiers and police
pulling wounded people from the rubble of a
The explosion at around 8 a.m. left a massive crater
in the road, damaged vehicles, blew out windows and
caused partial damage to some other buildings.
"I was near the site of the explosion. I saw fire
coming out from the blast area. A man was burned to
death," one witness said.
Bomb attacks are extremely rare in Iraq's autonomous
oil-rich Kurdistan region, unlike the rest of the
country which is engulfed by violence.
The attack comes at a time of political tension for
ethnic Kurds, who are part of Shi'ite Prime Minister
Nuri al-Maliki's national government and staunch
allies of the United States.
Some Kurdish politicians have expressed deep
reservations over a landmark oil draft law that
would distribute Iraq's vast oil wealth among the
country's warring sects and groups.
Kurds are also pushing to hold a referendum on the
final status of Kirkuk, an oil-producing city
outside Kurdistan that is also claimed by Arabs.
Sunni Arabs, who were dominant under Saddam Hussein
and now are the backbone of an insurgency fighting
U.S. troops and the government in Baghdad, view
Kurdish nationalism with mistrust.
A suicide bomber killed more than 60 people at the
Kurdistan Democratic Party office in Erbil in May
2005 in an attack that was claimed by a militant
Sunni Arab group.
That was the last bomb attack in the Kurdish region
that residents can recall.
Just last month, officials said the Kurdistan
regional government and a Dubai firm would build a
$400 million "media city" in Erbil in the hope of
luring international media groups to the more stable
Reuters | AP