Eleven killed in shooting in Iraq's Diyala province

Roadside bomb exploded, hitting a minibus before armed men opened fire on bystanders and rescuers

Iraqi police in the Kirkuk-Salah ad Din-Diyala triangle, Iraq. Laurent Perpigna Iban / Hans Lucas
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Eleven people were killed in an attack by a group armed with explosives and guns in eastern Iraq, security officials said.

The attacks took place on Thursday night in the Diyala province.

A roadside bomb exploded and hit a minibus returning civilians from an electoral meeting, an interior ministry official told AFP.

Gunmen then opened fire on rescuers and bystanders at the scene, two security officials told AFP.

The victims were all civilians, the officials said. They said the attack near the town of Amraniyah targeted relatives of a local MP.

Diyala governor Muthanna Al Tamimi said he would “pursue the perpetrators of the terrorist attack”.

The gunmen fled and no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Diyala, which borders Iran and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, is a popular conduit for smuggling.

Nechirvan Barzani, president of the Kurdish region to the north, said the attack “proves the fact that terrorism still poses a real threat and challenge" and said the region "must confront them with all our force and ability”.

The province has endured periodic attacks by ISIS cells and sporadic violence as a result of sectarian tensions between Shiites and Sunnis, as well as fighting between rival militias and their tribal and political allies struggling over influence and lucrative racketeering networks.

Security forces announced the imposition of a curfew in the area and a search was under way to detain those responsible.

Almost a year ago, in December 2022, the country was gripped by a rare surge in ISIS violence after eight people were killed in Diyala province.

Updated: December 01, 2023, 10:17 AM