Two KDP officials killed as riots hit Iraqi Kurdistan

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Kurdish man cross a street in Sulaymaniyah city as protests hit the second province of Iraqi Kurdistan. (AFP)

ARA News

SULAYMANIYAH – The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) said on Sunday that two of its cadres were killed and nine others injured in attacks by opposition protesters in the province of Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“The sabotage and attacks carried out on the KDP headquarters in Sulaymaniyah led to the martyrdom of two members of the party and the injury of nine others,” the statement said.

“Amid the current challenges in the region, we need to organize our internal affairs in Kurdistan. Unfortunately, some political parties try to exploit the just demands of the people by inciting them to attack our headquarters,” the ruling party in the Kurdistan Region said. 

“We decided to hand over a number of our headquarters to government forces in some areas of Sulaymaniyah. The decision was made to prevent a further bloodshed and to end the ongoing crisis,” the statement read.

The KDP leadership added that Islamic State’s (ISIS) extremists and the enemies of the Kurdish people “are waiting for the opportunity to take advantage of any internal tension in the region”. 

“We support peace and stability, and we must enforce the law to put an end to these attacks and prevent any political party from exploiting the just demands of Kurdistan citizens,” KDP stressed in its statement.

Many areas in the Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq have witnessed protests and riots in the past few days, which turned into clashes with security forces, and led to the burning of KDP headquarters and governmental buildings, especially in the city of Sulaymaniyah and the town of Qala Dize. 

Five people have been killed in the protests so far, which threaten to destabilize the Kurdistan Region at a time of war with Islamic State militants. 

Protestors claim to be angry at the delay of salaries and the presidential crisis in the Kurdistan Region, although most of the attacks have been directed at KDP buildings in the province. 

Speaking to ARA News, Kurdish journalist Burhan Nabil said that the protestors started to throw stones at the governmental headquarters in Qala Dize, and then attacked the KDP buildings in the area.

“Some protesters tried to break into the KDP office, but they came under fire from the office protection personnel,” he added. 

The health department in Sulaymaniyah province reported Sunday the death of two protesters and the injury of 17 others.

The President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani has reportedly demanded the security forces to avoid any clashes with the protesters. 

Reporting by: Jan Nasro

Source: ARA News

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