Iran again shells Iraqi Kurdistan village
May 5, 2009
SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Iran
shelled a Kurdish village in a remote area of
northern Iraq's largely autonomous Kurdistan region
causing damage to
buildings but no casualties, the region's border
Brigadier-General Ahmed Ghraib, head of the border
police of Kurdistan's Sulaimaniyah province, where
the shelling took place, said the shells landed in a
mountainous area bordering Iran.
On Saturday, Iran shelled Kurdish rebel positions in
Iraqi Kurdistan and
to fire on them on the Iranian side of the border.
"Iranian shelling started at 11 a.m. (4:00 a.m. EDT)
until 1:15 p.m. (6:15 a.m. EDT) against the villages
of Penjwin. No casualties occurred except damage (to
buildings)," Ghraib told Reuter.
Iranian artillery shelling Kurdish villages in Iraqi
under the pretext of attacking the Iranian Kurdish PJAK rebels
"The people of these
villages have deserted the area because of the
shelling," he added.
The KRG on Sunday
condemned an Iranian air
raid against alleged Iranian separatists inside
Iraqi Kurdistan but also called on Iranian Kurdish PJAK militants to cease cross-border attacks.
The pro-Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) news agency
Peyamner reported that hundreds of Kurdish soldiers
(Peshmerga) were sent
to the Iranian border
The Iranian attacks followed clashes between Iran's
police and guerrillas from the Iranian Party of Free
Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the
Turkey's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which took up
arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast
Gunmen killed 10 Iranian police in that firefight in
western Iran on April 25. Ten PJAK fighters were
also killed, Iranian state media said.
Western Iran, which has a sizeable Kurdish
population, has seen deadly fighting in recent years
between Iranian security forces and PJAK rebels
operating out of rear-bases in neighbouring Iraq.
The PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane) (Party of Free Life of
Kurdistan), is a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in northern Iraq that
has been carrying out attacks Iranian forces in the Kurdistan Province of Iran
(Eastern Kurdistan) and other Kurdish-inhabited areas.
PJAK is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (Koma Civaken
Kurdistan or KCK), which is an alliance of outlawed Kurdish groups and divisions
led by an elected Executive Council.
Led by Haji Ahmadi, the PJAK’s objective is to establish a semi-autonomous
regional entities or Kurdish federal states in Iran, Turkey and Syria similar to
the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.
2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of
Iran (Iranian Kurdistan, Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK
are women. The PJAK has about 3,000 armed
The United States on February 4, 2009 added the Iranian Kurdish PJAK militant group
opposed to Iran
to its list of terrorist
The group is closely allied with the Turkish Kurdish
rebel group, the Turkey's Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
PKK rear-bases in border districts of northern Iraq
were the target of repeated attack by the Turkish
and Iranian militaries in December and January and
more recently in March and April.
Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant
ethnic Kurdish minorities. Estimate to 12 million
Kurds live in Iran.
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