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 Iraqi Kurdish villagers arrested by Iranian troops in Iraq's Kurdistan

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Iraqi Kurdish villagers arrested by Iranian troops in Iraq's Kurdistan  20.7.2011    

July 20, 2011

ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Iranian troops arrested two villagers from the Iraqi Kurdistan region during their cross-border military offensives on Monday, say local officials.

Weze village official Abdullah Ahmed told AK news that local residents Babakir Ahmed Bayeez and Amina Hussein were arrested and their livestock seized by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.

The villages around the border Kurdish town of Choman, 210 km northeast of Erbil, have been besieged by Iranian shelling since Saturday. Despite fierce criticism from Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government, Iran maintains it has the right to attack and dismantle bases of the PJAK.                  

Kurdish town of Choman - Erbil province, Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The militant organization has been implicated in numerous attacks on Iranian bases in northwestern Iran as well as sporadic offensives against military bases in southern Turkey and northeastern Syria.

Ahmed said that 11 families in the region have been forced to flee their homes by the continued bombardments so far.

The villagers and nomads of Weze are evacuating the area as fighting continues between the Iranian military and PJAK Kurdish separatist rebels.

The head of the Peshamrga (Kurdish security force) in Choman, Mamand Mami Xali said yesterday that the Iranian troops have advanced at least one kilometer into Iraqi Kurdistan.

A villager was reported wounded and a school damaged in last night’s shelling around Qaladze city, another bordering city in Sulaimaniyah province. The village was completely evacuated after the attack.

Xali told AKnews today that he heard light gunfire this morning near the Kodo Mountain in the Haj Omaran district, 250 km northeast of Erbil,www.ekurd.netand that Iranian troops had bombarded the Trshinan, Chalawan and Bari Przhe districts.

“Iran has deployed a large force accompanied by tanks and artillery near Qopi Kanyarash which is close to the Kodo Mountain,” he said, “and this has worried the residents of these areas”.

There have also been reports from villagers that Iran is constructing roads and makeshift military bases on the borderline.

Iran has been bombarding the border territories for years, the shelling has left hundreds displaced, and scores injured so far. Last year, a teenage girl was killed by an Iranian artillery shell that fell on a house in a border village.

The Iranian PJAK, or the (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane), is a militant Kurdish nationalist group based in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north 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),www.ekurd.netwhich is an alliance of Kurdish groups and divisions led by an elected Executive Council.

Since 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 militiamen.

Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey all have significant ethnic Kurdish minorities. Estimate to 12 million Kurds live in Iran.

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