Protester killed, dozen wounded in clashes in Iraq city of Kirkuk, police say

BAGHDAD: A protester was shot lifeless and a dozen wounded on Saturday throughout clashes between ethnic teams within the northern Iraqi oil metropolis of Kirkuk that broke out after days of tensions, safety forces and police mentioned.
The dispute centres on occupation of a constructing in Kirkuk that served because the headquarters for the Kurdistan Democratic Social gathering (KDP) prior to now however which the Iraqi military has used a base since 2017.
The central authorities plans to return to the constructing to the KDP in a present of goodwill however Arab and Turkmen opponents arrange a camp exterior the constructing to protest final week.
The violence was sparked when a gaggle of Kurdish protesters approached the camp on Saturday, police mentioned.
Safety officers and police within the metropolis say they have been investigating the circumstances of how a protester – a Kurd – was killed, and who opened hearth. Individuals from each protest teams have been wounded as stones have been thrown and steel bars used to assault, mentioned Kirkuk police.
Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani ordered a curfew within the metropolis to stop an escalation of the violence, and known as on all “political events, social organizations, and group leaders to play their half in stopping strife and preserving safety, stability, and order,” in keeping with an announcement from the prime minister’s workplace.
Kirkuk, a flashpoint oil-rich province in northern Iraq alongside the fault traces between the Kurdish autonomous area and areas managed by Iraq’s Shi’ite-dominated central authorities, has been the main focus of a few of the nation’s worst post-Islamic State violence.
Kurdish forces managed Kirkuk metropolis after driving Islamic State out in 2014 however have been ejected by the Iraqi military in 2017, bringing town again beneath Baghdad’s management.
When Sudani took energy final yr, he labored to enhance relations between his authorities and the KDP and agreed to permit the KDP to reopen its headquarters in Kirkuk.
However Arab residents and minority teams who mentioned they suffered beneath Kurdish rule, such because the Turkmen, have protested the KDP’s return.

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