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 Mosul: 23 Kurdish Yazidi sect members slaina, a car bomb near KDP

 Source : AP | AFP
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Mosul: 23 Kurdish Yazidi sect members slaina, a car bomb near KDP  23.4.2007


April 23, 2007

Mosul, (Northern Iraq) -- A car bomb near the offices of a Kurdish political party in a mainly Christian village of northern Iraq today killed at least 10 people and wounded 20, an official with the party told AFP.

The explosion occurred near the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the village of Tal Isquf, north of the restive city of Mosul, said party spokesman Abdul Gani Ali.

Witnesses told AFP by telephone that a car loaded with explosives exploded between the party offices and a social club in the village, 30 kilometers north of Mosul.

They said some of the victims were thought to be Kurdish peshmerga fighters.

- Gunmen executed 23 members of an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq yesterday after stopping their bus and separating out followers of other faiths, while at least 20 persons were killed in car bombings in the capital.

In the northern Iraq attack, armed men stopped a bus which was carrying workers from a textile factory in Mosul to their hometown of Bashika, which has a mixed population of Christians and Kurdish Yazidis -- members of a primarily Kurdish sect that worships an angel figure considered to be the devil by some Muslims and Christians.

The gunmen checked the passengers' identification cards, then asked all Christians to get off the bus, said police Brig. Mohammed al-Wagga. With the Yazidis still inside, the gunmen drove them to eastern Mosul, where they were lined up along a wall and fatally shot, Brig. al-Wagga said.

After the killings, hundreds of Yazidis took to the streets of Bashika. Shops were shuttered and many Muslim residents closed themselves in their homes, fearing reprisal attacks. Police set up additional checkpoints across the city.

Bashika is about 80 percent Yazidi, 15 percent Christian and 5 percent Muslim.

Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a police spokesman for Ninevah province, said the executions were in response to the killing two weeks ago of a Yazidi woman who had recently converted to Islam after she fell in love with a Muslim and ran off with him. Her relatives had disapproved of the match and dragged her back to Bashika, where she was stoned to death, he said.

A grainy video showing gruesome scenes of the woman's killing was distributed on Iraqi Web sites in recent weeks, but its authenticity could not be confirmed.



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