Policeman killed in Iraq Kurd anti-govt
protest in Halabja: mayor
February 24, 2011
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Anti-government protests
in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja on Wednesday
left a policeman dead as a result of gunshot wounds
and another injured, the town's mayor and a doctor
Several hundred demonstrators had been marching to
the offices of Halabja mayor Goran Adhem when shots
were fired, although both sides offered differing
accounts of how the fatality occurred.
"The demonstrators shot and killed a policeman and
wounded another," Adhem said. He added that
protesters attempted to march to his office but,
before arriving, opened fire.
Adhem said that authorities had "video of
demonstrators carrying guns" and claimed that
protesters were not from the Kurdish town, 50
kilometres (30 miles) east of the Iraqi autonomous
region's second-biggest city Sulaimaniyah, but
instead were of Arab origin.
Iraqi Kurds protest in Halabja to demand the ouster
of the local Kurdistan government KRG. February 23,
But protesters, speaking
on condition of anonymity for fear of arrest,
insisted that no one at their rally was carrying
weapons. They said that police fired into the air
and the casualties were caused when the bullets fell
A journalist for the independent Kurdish weekly
Awene said that demonstrators had assembled at
around 2:00 pm (1100 GMT) at Hurriyah Square in the
centre of Halabja before moving towards the mayor's
"I heard gunshots, I don't know where they came
from, and I ran away," the journalist said, speaking
on condition of anonymity.
A medical official at Halabja hospital, who did not
want to be named, said one policeman was killed and
five people were wounded, including four civilians
who suffered bruises.
A rally in the town a day earlier left 32 police
wounded after protesters threw stones at security
forces, Adhem said.
The policeman's death was the fourth in Kurdistan
since Thursday when thousands have hit the streets
of Sulaimaniyah and Halabja to demand an end to the
dominance of two parties that have lorded over
Kurdistan for decades.
In Sulaimaniyah on Wednesday, around 3,000
demonstrators, some carrying pictures of people
killed in previous rallies, railed against the
For decades, the
of regional president Massoud Barzani and the
Union of Kurdistan
PUK of Iraq's President
Jalal Talabani have lorded over the region.
Massoud Barzani, the KDP chief and current Kurdistan president, and his
relatives control a large number of commercial
enterprises in Kurdistan-Iraq,www.ekurd.netwith
a gross value of several billion US dollars. The family is routinely
accused of corruption and nepotism by Kurdish media
as well as international observers.
author or news agency, AFP | ekurd.net | Agencies
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