Car bombing outside US consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan
At least one dead and five wounded following attack on compound in capital Erbil
Smoke rises from the site of a car bomb attack outside the US consulate in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters
A car bombing targeting the US consulate in Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital Erbil has killed one person and wounded five, the local mayor said.
A witness said the blast was followed by brief gunfire.
“A car bomb exploded outside the entrance to the US consulate,” Nihad Qoja told reporters. “It seems the consulate was the target.”
Photographs posted on social media showed black smoke rising from behind multi-storey buildings in the Ankawa district, a predominantly Christian neighbourhood that is popular with foreigners.
There was no immediate word on whether the US compound, which houses diplomats and other staff, was damaged.
Bombings are rare in Erbil, the capital of semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, which is an important partner in a US-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants who have seized large sections of Iraq.
Kurdish peshmerga fighters have driven back Islamic State in northern Iraq with the help of coalition air strikes.