Two suspected ISIL attacks on energy facilities in Kirkuk, Iraq
At least five people have been killed in two attacks on energy facilities in Kirkuk, Iraq on Sunday. Among those killed were a top police commander and four control room operators working on site at the time of the attack. The extremist group ISIL have claimed responsibility for the second attack on the group’s Amaq website without referral to the first operation.
The first attack hit the AB2 gas compressor station, which happens to be located just northwest of the oil-rich Kirkuk province. Eye witness reports say gunmen stormed the opening of the site with grenades and went on to shoot four control room operators, killing them instantly. The gunmen then went on to plant explosives, to which five exploded soon after.
The second operation was reportedly carried out by a suicide bomber. Initially, the same approach was taken as the first, where gunmen entered the facility to find an oil storage tank and plant explosives. This was where the head of the oil police force in Kirkuk was killed and a further three police officers were wounded in an attempt of defending the oil facility.
According to security officials, a suicide bomber blew himself up, which ignited a fire in two of the oil tanks.
ISIL, also referred to as ISIS, have managed to suspend operation of the oil station, which was previously pumping 55,000 barrels per day to the Northern Kurdish region, sources said. The militants seized roughly a third of OPEC’s producer’s territory in 2014, but have in recent months lost many areas to the Iraqi forces with the backing of US led coalition air strikes. They still, however, hold control over the city of Mosul.
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