UPDATE 1-Bomb explodes in Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil-local TV

Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:31pm EDT

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ARBIL, Iraq Aug 23 (Reuters) - A bomb exploded on Saturday in Arbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region, a relatively stable region which has recently come under threat from advancing Islamic State militants, local television network Rudaw reported.

TV footage from the scene showed firefighters dousing the charred remains of a car, which blew up outside a technical college on the road from Arbil to Kirkuk. Several people were wounded but none killed in the blast, Rudaw said.

Kurdish security forces have been on high alert since Islamic State militants overran large swathes of Iraq, opening a more than 1,000 km-long (600-mile) front with the semi-autonomous region.

The last major attack in Arbil was in September, when militants launched a coordinated suicide and car bomb attack on the headquarters of the security services.

Kurdistan's relative security has attracted some of the world's largest oil companies including ExxonMobil and Chevron Corp to the region, but many of them have put their operations on hold or withdrawn staff since the Islamic State sweep earlier this month. (Reporting by Isabel Coles; Editing by Michael Georgy)

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