Deadly explosion at Kurdish refugee camp was airstrike, statement
MAKHMOUR, Iraqi Kurdistan,— An explosion on Wednesday caused deaths in a Kurdish area of Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, home to Kurds from Turkey who moved there three decades ago, a party official said.
“A car bomb exploded around 7:30 pm (1630 GMT) in the Shahid Rustum camp, two kilometres (one mile) east of the town of Makhmur, killing and wounding people,” said the official from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
The camp is home to some 12,500 people from southeastern Turkey, supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which Turkey considers a terrorist group.
Control of Makhmur is disputed between Iraq’s Kurdistan autonomous region and Baghdad.
The Council of Rustem Refugee Camp said in a statement that the deadly explosion that hit a Kurdish refugee camp in Makhmour Wednesday evening was from an airstrike.
It stated that they do not know who carried out the alleged airstrike, but added that the Iraqi government is in charge of the air space in the reported areas, and therefore, they expect the Iraqi government to release an “urgent statement” in this regard.
The statement said the following;
“At around 18:45 on December 6, Self-Defense Forces at the UN-supervised Makhmur Martyr Rüstem Refugee Camp were targeted by an aerial bombardment.
This attack left martyrs and injured among Makhmur Self Defense Forces.
Makhmur Self-Defense Forces were established for the protection of civilian people in Makhmur Refugee Camp against ISIS attacks in 2014’s August.
The defense units formed by residents of the camp have actively defended the civilians in the camp against ISIS attacks.
The Iraqi Central Government and the forces using Iraqi airspace are responsible for this attack, the perpetrator of which is not known yet.
The airspace in which this attack was carried out is guarded by Iraqi Central Government.
We expect the Iraqi Central Government to make an urgent statement about the attack.
Details about this attack which targeted a refugee camp where civilian people are living, will be made public in the following hours.”
The PKK took up arms in 1984 against the Turkish state, which still denies the constitutional existence of the Kurds, to push for greater autonomy for the Kurdish minority who make up around 22.5 million of the country’s 79-million population.
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