Six people have been killed and 17 others wounded in a bomb attack on a cafe in the city of Arbil, in Kurdish-populated northern Iraq, an official from a local faction told AFP Thursday.
"Four people were killed on the spot and two others died in hospital after a person on a motorbike hurled explosives on a tea shop on Tuesday," said Safeen Dizayee, the Ankara representative of the northern Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
"We don't know yet who is behind this attack that came as a shock for us. It aims to destabilize the situation in the region where there were no such attacks for several years," Dizayee said.
"A serious investigation has been launched into the incident," he added.
Control over Northern Iraq, which has been outside Baghdad's control since the end of the 1991 Gulf War, is shared by the KDP, led by Massoud Barzani, and by its arch-rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Jalal Talabani.
The region is also used by the Turkish Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as a jumping board for attacks on Turkish territory that have prompted the Turkish army to carry out frequent incursions into the area with the support of KDP fighters.
The PUK, which had enjoyed close ties with the PKK in the past, has recently also clamped down on the rebels.
Both the KDP and PUK have recently been complaining of PKK attacks in their areas, which led to fighting and loss of life.
Turkey's military says some 5,000 PKK militants have crossed over to northern Iraq since last September when the PKK said it was laying down its arms and withdrawing from Turkey to seek a peaceful resolution to the Kurdish conflict in Turkey.
But the army has played down the peace bid as a "ploy," saying that the rebels should either surrender or face the army – ANKARA (AFP)
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