On Sept. 29, the Directorate of Security (Asayish) in Erbil became the target of a successful suicide attack and another that failed. According to a statement by the directorate, six security officers were killed in a firefight that followed the attack, and 62 people were injured, including 42 security and police officers. It is the first attack in six years in Erbil in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The region is known for its stability and security — in contrast to the rest of Iraq, where attacks are frequent — and has attracted impressive amounts of foreign investment.
The Asayish statement noted:
“The attacks come at a time when Kurdistan has achieved another democratic milestone by holding its fourth free and fair parliamentary elections [on Sept. 21], the results of which were announced one day before the terrorist attacks. The attacks demonstrate that there are those who stand against our democratic journey.”
In the first attack, a suicide bomber attempted to drive into the Asayish building, killing four people when the vehicle exploded. Minutes later, an ambulance carrying two assailants approached the building, but they were stopped and killed.
“For many years, the city Erbil has benefited from peace and security, and I urge the regional and national authorities to work together to ensure that calm and tranquility will continue to prevail and that those responsible for the attack are brought to justice,” said Nickolay Mladenov, UN special representative of the United Nations secretary-general for Iraq.