Explosive drone goes off in Iraq's northern city of Erbil

Explosive drone goes off in Iraq's northern city of Erbil
A drone exploded in Iraq's northern Kurdish city of Erbil on Wednesday night, causing injuries and material damage
2 min read
Erbil has been subject to a number of attacks in recent months [Getty]

A drone exploded in Iraq's northern city of Erbil on Wednesday injuring three people and damaging several cars, according to a statement by Kurdistan's counter-terrorism service.

An explosive drone detonated on Pirmam road in Erbil's outskirts at 9:35 p.m. Iraq time (6:35 p.m. GMT), the statement added.

Two security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down.

A security source told Reuters earlier that a drone attack targeted the US consulate but did not give further details.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi told Kurdish Prime Minister Masoud Barzani in a phone call that Baghdad will cooperate with Erbil to hold the perpetrators accountable, according to a statement.

Iraqi President Barham Salih condemned the attack, saying it was "reprehensible criminal act targeting national efforts to protect the country's security and the safety of its citizens".

"We must stand firmly against attempts to plunge the country into chaos and undermine security and stability," he wrote on Twitter.

"Bomb-laden drone hit Erbil-Pirmam road, causing civilian injuries and damage," the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq said on Twitter. "Iraq does not need self-proclaimed armed arbiters. Asserting State authority is essential. If the perpetrators are known, call them out and hold them to account."

The Kurdistan Regional Government Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed hinted that pro-Iran militias were behind the attack, adding that investigations were underway.

Last month, Iran Revolutionary Guards artillery fire hit an area north of Erbil, targeting what Iranian state television described as terrorist bases.

Also, in March the Guards attacked the capital of the Kurdish region with a dozen ballistic missiles in an unprecedented assault on the capital of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region that appeared to target the United States and its allies

At least three other attacks have targeted oil refineries in Erbil since the March attack, but no group has claimed responsibility for them.

(Reuters contributed to this report)