KIRKUK, (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed at least five people and wounded eight more on Saturday in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk, police said.
The bomber detonated a suicide vest in a car market in southern Kirkuk, said Major-General Torhan Abdul-Rahman, a senior police official in the city.
Control over the oil-rich city, which is home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, has stoked ethnic tensions as Iraq prepares for provincial elections that the United States and United Nations have been hoping would take place this fall.
Iraq’s minority Kurds want to ensure the elections, which may be delayed substantially due to political disagreement over Kirkuk, do not weaken their control of the city.
Kurds see Kirkuk as their ancestral home and hope to make it part of their autonomous northern region.