Kurdish security minister survives blast in Iraq's Kirkuk

Kurdish security minister survives blast in Iraq's Kirkuk
Thu Jun 12, 2014 16:50:30

The Kurdish minister responsible for the peshmerga security forces survived a bomb blast in Kirkuk province Thursday that killed a fighter, a senior officer said, as extremist militants press an offensive.

Jaafar Mustafa was returning from visiting Kurdish units that have taken control of Kirkuk city and other areas of the province when a roadside bomb exploded, killing a peshmerga fighter, Brigadier General Shirko Rauf said.

Kurdish forces took control of the disputed Iraqi oil hub of Kirkuk on Thursday to protect it from terrorist group of so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

"We tightened our control of Kirkuk city and are awaiting orders to move toward the areas that are controlled by ISIL," Brigadier General Shirko Rauf of the Kurdish peshmerga security forces told AFP.

ISIL terrorists have spearheaded a major offensive this week that has overrun all of one province and parts Kirkuk and two other provinces.

Kirkuk Governor Najm al-Din Karim said peshmerga forces had filled in gaps left by Iraqi soldiers who withdrew from their positions in the province.

"Army forces are no longer present, as happened in Mosul and Salaheddin," Karim said.


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