A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic will bring its technicians back home from the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk following a deadly attack by ISIS Takfiri terrorists on a power station and other buildings near the city.
Speaking to IRNA on Friday, Iran’s Consul General in the Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah, Sa’adollah Massoudian, said the toll for the Iranians killed in the terrorist attack stood at three and dismissed reports that an injured Iranian technician had succumbed to his wounds.
According to Reuters, at least 18 people, mostly members of the security forces and workers at the power station, were killed in the ISIS attack on government-run facilities in Kirkuk on Friday.
The assault took place as three bombers stormed a power plant under construction by an Iranian company near Dibs town, located about 40 kilometers northwest of Kirkuk city, the town’s mayor Abdullah Nureddin al-Salehi said.
At least eight terrorists were reportedly killed, either by blowing themselves up or in clashes with security forces.
Fighting raged on through Friday afternoon as authorities called a curfew, saying some of the terrorists were still holed up in a hotel and a mosque in the middle of Kirkuk.
Massoudian further said 80 Iranian workers and technicians had been operating at Kirkuk power station and added that Iran’s consulate general in the city of Sulaymaniyah is taking necessary measures to return them to Iran as soon as possible.
He noted that four Iranians were injured in the terrorist attack and said two of them, who had been critically wounded, had undergone surgery in a hospital in Sulaymaniyah and are now in good general health.
In a statement issued after the ISIS-claimed attacks, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the “savage” terror attack in Kirkuk and said terrorists have resorted to “indiscriminate attacks and massacre of innocent civilians to take revenge for their humiliating defeats on the battlefield.”
The recent wave of terror assaults in Kirkuk came four days after Iraqi troops started an offensive and are advancing on the northern city of Mosul, the last ISIS stronghold in the country, to push the terrorists out of the city.
The Takfiri group usually steps up its terror attacks across the Arab state when it comes under pressure in the areas under its control.
The oil-rich city of Kirkuk, some 170 kilometers from the ISIS-held city of Mosul, is claimed by both Iraq’s central government and the country’s Kurdish region which has assumed full control of Kirkuk since the summer of 2014.