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Oil wells bombed in Kirkuk: Reuters

Two oil wells were bombed at Kirkuk’s Khabbaz oilfield on Wednesday morning, security sources have told Reuters.

Firefighters are working to extinguish the flames at the site, which produces approximately 25,000 barrels of oil per day, oil and security sources told the news outlet.

Iraqi outlet Sumaria News also reported the bombings.

It is currently unclear who is responsible for the incident.

Security has been a constant concern in disputed areas like Kirkuk. The Islamic State (ISIS), despite being territorially defeated in Iraq in December 2017, has exploited security gaps between Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga in the province, with remnants carrying out numerous attacks against security forces and civilians.

Two policemen guarding the Khabbaz oilfield were killed by ISIS militants in 2018.

On Thursday the group’s weekly propaganda newspaper al-Naba claimed the group has killed and injured at least 19 security forces in Kirkuk in the past two weeks.

An explosion in Kirkuk last month killed two members of Iraqi security forces and injured six others. The attack was later claimed by ISIS.

Members of Kirkuk’s Majlis al-Arabi (Arab Council) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) met with Kirkuk Governor Rakan al-Jabouri in Baghdad’s Salam Palace last week to discuss increasing security through a “united force.”

The meeting was led by Iraqi President Barham Salih.

“Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen all agree that there should be a united force defending Kirkuk consisting of the people of Kirkuk themselves, and we have discussed this idea in our meeting,” Hatam al-Tai, a spokesperson for the Arab Council told Rudaw English on Monday. Source