On Friday, June 16, a grenade was thrown into the courtyard of the Bahasht mosque in the Ibrahim Ahmded neighborhood at 21:00 (local time) in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan. The suspected target was Abdul Latif, a Salafi preacher known for opposing the Islamic State (IS) and who was leaving the mosque at the time of the attack. Latif and four others suffered minor injuries. Security forces have launched an investigation into the incident.
Latif is a well-known Salafi in Iraqi Kurdistan who condemned IS in 2014 for its attacks on Yezidis and Christians. He has also criticized the leader of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and stated that IS militants killed in combat are not martyrs.
The autonomous Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) security forces, the Peshmerga, are heavily involved in the US-backed coalition’s Mosul offensive aimed at expelling IS from the northern Iraqi city.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the proper authorities. As a reminder, many Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the majority of Iraq and nonessential travel to the north of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) including the governorates of Dahuk, Sulaymaniah, and Erbil.