A Kurdish student has admitted in a video broadcast on television that he carried out a car bombing outside the US Consulate in Erbil on behalf of the Islamic State (Isis).
Darya Homdamin was one of five men arrested by the Kurdish authorities in Erbil this week after the attack in the Christian enclave of Ainkawa on 17 April, Reuters reported Tuesday (28 April).
He explained how he and four other men had used Facebook to contact a Kurdish militant who arranged for the gang to collect a car bomb from Kirkuk and drive north to Erbil.
When they reached Erbil, the gang attempted to park the car outside the US Consulate but found it too heavily guarded and instead opted to leave it outside a café opposite the building.
They then drove to a nearby sports centre and detonated the bomb – which killed two people – via remote control.
The bombing was an extremely rare attack on one of Iraqi Kurdistan's safest cities, but is notable due to the involvement of Kurdish militants rather than Arab Iraqis.
While Kurdish troops are on the frontline fighting IS and a major player in the Western coalition against the terrorist group, hundreds of Kurds have defected to IS and are fighting against the peshmerga in Islamic State-held areas of Iraq.
Four of the men arrested by the authorities are Kurds and the fifth, an Arab named as Ahmed Jassem, admitted in his confession that they had targeted the US Consulate because "Erbil has become the source of the decision to fight Islamic State", Reuters reported.
The last attack in Erbil targeted a local government office in November and killed five people.