A suicide bomber attacked a Kurdish funeral in Iraq’s volatile Diyala Province today, killing 25 and wounding at least 45 others. The attack, in the town of Jalawla, comes just days after the six-year anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, and is the latest in a string of attacks across Iraq that have put in doubt the repeated claims of major progress being made.
The attack has also threatened to re-ignite ethnic tensions between Diyala’s Kurdish and Arab inhabitants. Jalawla was last year the site of clashes between the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga forces of the government of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Tensions had calmed down, but Jalawla’s Kurds say that security has worsened since the Peshmerga’s departure. MP Saadi al-Barazanchi declared today that “if they were still there, this would not have happened.” Of course Diyala was no stranger to bombings even when the Kurdish forces were present, but at a time when Kurdistan is already expanding its borders, this bombing may make Jalawla, again right along the border of the Kurdistan Regional Government, an inviting expansion target.