CAIRO, Egypt – A prominent Iraqi Sunni insurgent group on Friday posted a video of what it claimed was an attack by one of its homicide bombers on a Kurdish militiamen post in Iraq.
The Islamic Ansar al-Sunnah group said the attack took place in the northern city of Mosul and that it claimed the lives of 35 Kurdish troops. It did not give a date or specific location for the attack.
No such attack is known to have been reported in Iraq.
The video shows the alleged homicide bomber, masked and identified as Abu al-Baraa al-Shami, drawing up plans on paper with a pen while surrounded by other masked gunmen.
The plan allegedly targets a building housing the peshmerga — Kurdish militiamen who once battled Saddam Hussein's regime and who were later incorporated into the U.S.-trained new Iraqi military, to serve as troops in the predominantly Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
The footage shows the masked insurgents filling up several gas canisters, land mines and other tank shells with a white powder said to be the explosives. The gunmen tape the explosives together and stuff them inside a minivan. The vehicle's clutch is subsequently shown wired to the bombs.
"We are the holy warriors executing God's orders ... fighting the Crusaders, the infidels, the occupiers and the apostates, the traitors of the (Iraqi) agents who are killing men and women, and raping Muslim women," the bomber identified as al-Shami reads from his will, after which he embraces fellow insurgents goodbye.
The video then shows the minivan, filmed from a long distance, driving on a road toward a building. An explosion rocks the area, with heavy smoke rising into the sky. No aftermath of the blast is shown, and no victims are visible in the footage.
A short statement in the video says the attack resulted in the deaths of some 35 peshmerga, killed either in the blast or from the building's collapse.
The 14-minute video was released on a Web site known as a clearing house for the insurgent group's extremist material. The tape's authenticity could not be independently verified.
At the end, the footage shows photographs of some 18 former Ansar al-Sunnah homicide bombers, who are said to have died in similar attacks and who are hailed as martyrs. Their names indicate they were Syrians, Egyptians, Tunisians and Iraqis.
The Ansar al-Sunnah militant group has claimed responsibility for numerous homicide attacks, including the Aug. 2004 execution of 12 Nepalese hostages and the Dec. 2004 explosion at a U.S. military mess hall in Mosul that killed 22 people.
It is believed to be an offshoot of another group, Ansar Al-Islam which is made up mostly of Kurds with close links to Al Qaeda in Iraq. It has been blamed for a number of attacks, including attempts to assassinate Kurdish officials.
Ansar al-Sunnah is also part of the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of insurgent groups — including Al Qaeda in Iraq — that was co-founded by the late Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.