A suicide bomber struck Friday near the U.S. Consulate in Irbil, northern Iraq, killing at least three civilians -- including a Westerner dining across the street from the diplomatic building. The blast also wounded five people, said reports from McClatchy and the Kurdish media outlet Rudaw.
The bombing occurred in the early evening local time in Ainkawa, a Christian section of Irbil that is a popular with Westerners. An American official in Washington, D.C., said no consulate staff or local security guards were killed or injured in the blast, the Associated Press reported. A Turk and an American were among the wounded, Rudaw reported.
Irbil, the Kurdish regional capital, is where American diplomatic personnel were transferred from Baghdad after the Islamic State group took control of Mosul and threatened to take Baghdad, McClatchy reported. The Friday attack in Irbil was the first to target a U.S. installation since the Islamic State group’s rise last year, McClatchy reported.
â€” Zana (@ZanaKhalil) April 17, 2015
The suicide bomber struck on the same day Iraqi officials announced that Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, a top deputy to the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, was believed to have been killed. Al Douri, known as the King of Clubs in the deck of cards administered to U.S. troops at the start of the 2003 invasion of Iraq to help them identify Iraqis being sought by the U.S., was killed by Iraqi soldiers and an allied Shiite militia near Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, the AP reported. Officials were conducting DNA tests to confirm that the man killed was al Douri, who was reported to have been arrested in 2003 -- until authorities realized they had handcuffed a man who looked like him. Al Douri had been a fugitive for nearly 12 years.
â€” Chicago Tribune (@chicagotribune) April 17, 2015
Rudaw has footage of smoke smoldering from the area:
— Terrorism Updates (@terrorism_info) April 17, 2015