Suicide car bomb hits Iraqi Kurdish capital
Suicide car bomb - AFP

ERBIL, Iraq: A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near the provincial government headquarters in the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Wednesday, a spokesman said.

The bomber hit the main checkpoint on the way to the headquarters in the usually secure northern city of Erbil just before noon, provincial council spokesman Hamza Hamed told AFP.

Hamza said that there were casualties from the attack, but the number was not immediately clear.

Iraq’s three-province province Kurdish region is generally spared the rampant violence plaguing other parts of the country.

But its security forces are battling the Islamic State jihadist group, which spearheaded an offensive that has overrun large areas of Iraq since June, making it a more prominent target for militants.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Erbil attack, but suicide bombings are usually carried out by Sunni extremists in Iraq, including a series of blasts claimed by IS in recent weeks.

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