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 Kurdistan Blocs Coalition supports Diyala's demand for autonomy 

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Kurdistan Blocs Coalition supports Diyala's demand for autonomy  16.12.2011  

December 16, 2011

DIYALA, Iraq, — The Kurdistan Blocs Coalition pledged its support for Diyala becoming a region on Thursday with the caveat that it does not include the district of Khanaqin which Kurds want to join Kurdistan.

Diyala Provincial Council KBC member Jalil Ibrahim told AKnews: "All the members of the coalition support the establishment of Diyala region on the condition that non of the other districts like Khanaqin join it."

The KBC called on the leaders of political blocs in Baghdad to support Diyala's aspirations and end the tensions that followed the province's announcement.

But the Ahrar Bloc which belongs to the hardline Shiite Sadrist movement raged that turning Diyala Province into an autonomous region is illegal.

The head of the Ahrar Bloc Bahaa al-Araji told AKnews the bid is politically motivated and the Federal Court rejected the demand since the Province includes disputed areas.

Diyala Representative Salim al-Jabbouri in the Iraqi Council of Representatives told AKnews earlier that 29 Provincial Council members, more than half the Council, signed the declaration of the Province's intention to become an administratively independent region.

Article 119 of the Iraqi constitution allows a province to become a region through a referendum requested by one third of the provincial council members or one tenth of the voters.

Over the last two months several provincial councils have declared autonomy or threatened to do so. This glut of schisms is a response to the arrests of more than 615 alleged former members of the Baath Party, especially among Sunni provinces.

The arrests were ordered by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after he received information from Libyan interim leader Mahmoud Jibril. Libyan rebel forces obtained documents indicating Muammar al-Qaddafi tried to support an attempt of Baath members to overthrow the Iraqi government.

By Mahmoud al-Jabbouri and Mouhammed Tayyeb

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