An electricity line in Iraq is shown in this undated image. File photo: AA
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — High voltage electricity transmission lines connecting Kirkuk to Diyala were toppled by "terrorists" for the eighth time in the last two months.
“The ultra-high pressure voltage (400 kV) Kirkuk-Diyala electricity transmission line was blown up on Thursday at dawn by an action of terroristic sabotage in the Wadi Ousaj area near the Anjana checkpoint, leading to the line being cut on both sides,” read a statement from Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity.
The ministry revealed that in Nineveh — except in areas supplied by the Kurdistan Region — Kirkuk, and parts of the Saladin province are currently without electricity.
The ministry’s electricity lines transmission company started repairing the lines later on Thursday.
It is the eighth time that the same line has been targeted in the last two months, according to the ministry.
On Monday and Tuesday, the ministry announced that major Kirkuk-Erbil lines were targeted “due to a terroristic sabotage action on the part of terrorist groups through planted mines” beneath a high voltage transmission tower. This led to blackouts in Nineveh.
On Sunday, an armed group blew up an electricity station in the Hawija district, Kirkuk Now reported on Sunday.
“Daesh blew up the electricity station of the Zirban village through a planted mine, causing all the equipment to go up in flames,” said Col. Hussein Ali of Hashd al-Shaabi’s Brigade 56.
The commander added that ISIS has attacked the electricity transmission towers in the area more than once.
These increasing attacks against the electricity infrastructure seem to be a new tactic adopted by ISIS remnants.
ISIS sleeper cells continuously target civilians and security elements through kidnappings and attacks.
Iraq’s state-controlled electricity sector is already suffering, with people from southern provinces having taken to streets to demand more electricity mainly among other complaints. Temperatures have exceeded 50 degrees Celsius in parts of Iraq through the summer.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi suspended
Electricity Minister Qasim al-Fahadawi “due to poor performance of the sector” on Sunday.
Iraq is currently in a highly politically volatile state with the protests and the failure thus far to form a new government following the parliamentary election on May 12.