December 20, 2016 / 10:36 PM / 3 years ago

Iranian Kurd group accuses Tehran of bombing that killed six in Iraq

Members of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) gather during a funeral of victims who were killed in a bomb attack at the offices of the PDKI in Koy Sanjak, east of Erbil, Iraq, December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

KOY SANJAQ, Iraq (Reuters) - An Iranian Kurdish armed opposition group accused Iran on Wednesday of a bombing that killed five of its fighters and an Iraqi Kurdish policeman in northern Iraq.

A twin explosion late on Tuesday hit the offices of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) in Koy Sanjaq, east of Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region.

After the first blast, a second, larger one went off as members of the group and police rushed to the spot, PDKI central committee member Asso Hassan Zadeh told Reuters.

“There is no doubt that it’s the Iranian regime,” Hassan Zadeh said, speaking at the fighters’ funerals. “But in any case we will not stop our struggle.”

In June and July, PDKI fighters fought Iranian Revolutionary Guards in northwestern Iran, with several killed on both sides. Hassan Zadeh said Iranian forces had initiated those clashes.

He said the PDKI members involved in that fighting were not in Iran to attack the Iranian military. “They were only there conducting organizational and political activities, to be in touch with our people and to be present inside our country,” he said.

Iran’s 8 to 10 million Kurds mostly live in the northwest, close to Iraqi and Turkish Kurdish communities across the border.

The PDKI says it has no official ties or shared operations with other Kurdish groups in Iraq, Turkey or Syria.

No Iranian government spokesman could be reached for comment.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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