Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) has fired on targets in the capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, Irbil, and the eastern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah, the Iranian state news agency IRNA has reported.
Nine people were killed and 32 wounded in the attacks, Kurdish regional Health Minister Saman Barazanchi said in a statement on September 29.
“Some of the wounded are in critical condition and the death toll could rise,” Barazanchi added.
The attacks were carried out against Kurdish political parties, as well as an Iranian Kurdish refugee camp, while a senior member of Komala, an exiled Iranian Kurdish opposition party, told Reuters that several of its offices were struck as well.
The attacks come amid massive protests in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, who died while in custody after being arrested by the so-called morality police for allegedly wearing an Islamic headscarf, or hijab, improperly.
The protests started in Amini’s hometown of Saghez in Iran’s Kurdistan Province and quickly spread to dozens of cities and towns across Iran.
Tariq Haidari, mayor of the Iraqi Kurdish city of Koye, told Reuters that two people including a pregnant woman were killed and 12 wounded. Some of the wounded were rushed in critical condition to a hospital in Irbil, he said.
The spokesman of the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said it would summon the Iranian ambassador to voice Iraq’s opposition to the attacks, which Baghdad considers to be a violation of its sovereignty.
The IRGC has repeatedly attacked areas in Iraqi Kurdistan in recent days and said in a statement that it will continue to target “terrorists” in the region.
“This operation will continue with our full determination until the threat is effectively repelled, the bases of terrorist groups are dismantled, and the authorities of the Kurdistan region assume their obligations and responsibilities,” the IRGC said in its statement.