Islamic State militant attacked the Iraqi city of Kirkuk early Friday in hopes of diverting Iraqi forces away from their offensive attack on Mosul.
Iraqi forces launched a massive cooperative effort with Kurdish forces on Monday to recapture Mosul from ISIS.
At Kirkuk, at least 13 workers, including four Iranians, were killed when ISIS soldiers attacked a power plant and blew themselves up. Reports say that three ISIS suicide bombers entered the power plant and took the workers hostage before detonating their vests when police arrived.
A report from Iran’s Foreign Ministry said another three were wounded in the attack.
Kirkuk is about 100 miles from Mosul.
Lt. Gen Talib Shaghati, of Iraq’s elite forces, said Friday that the forces had “full control.”
Meanwhile, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, has asked that Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers try to help protect the many civilians in Mosul and nearby areas.
“We stress today upon our beloved fighters, as we have before on many occasions, that they exercise the greatest degree of restraint in dealing with civilians stuck in the areas where there is fighting,” he said in a sermon on Friday. “Protect them and prevent any harm to them by all possible means.”
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: October 21, 2016