Teenage protester killed, 39 hurt in fresh clashes in
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Teenage protester killed, 48 hurt in fresh
clashes in Iraq's Kurdistan
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — A teenage boy was killed
and 48 people were wounded Sunday evening when
hundreds of demonstrators clashed with Kurdish
security forces in Sulaimaniyah in Iraqi Kurdistan,
The death of 17-year-old Serkho Mohammed on Sunday
evening was the third fatality during protests in
the autonomous region of Kurdistan, where thousands
have hit the streets to rail against corruption in
the city of Sulaimaniyah.
Most of the demonstrators opposed Massoud Barzani,
Kurdistan regional president, and the ruling
Kurdistan Democratic Party.
Witnesses said that dozens of angry demonstrators
threw stones at the Kurdish security forces who were
trying to disperse them using water cannons.
Eleven of the
demonstrators were wounded when the security forces
opened fire, said Dr. Hawar Hassan, director of
Sulaimaniyah's emergency police. The teenager, a
17-year-old boy, died from wounds he suffered in the
In Sulaimaniyah on Sunday, 1,500 protesters had
attempted to march to Salem street in the centre of
the city, the site of violent
demonstrations that left two young
men dead and 54 wounded on Thursday.
On Saturday, clashes between police and protesters
in Sulaimaniyah injured 14 people, according to a
regional health official.
Iraqi Kurdish anti-government protesters march in
the city of Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan region.
Protesters shouted "Down, down with Massoud Barzani"
February 20, 2011. Photo: Getty Images.
Kurdish anti-government protesters stand on Massoud
Barzani and Jalal Tablani's photos.
Saturday's protesters shouted "Down, down with
Massoud Barzani" in a demonstration that began at
11:30 a.m. and lasted several hours.
The violence followed another demonstration by
hundreds of students at Sulaimaniyah University
seeking the release of people arrested in previous
protests and the prosecution of a local party
official they said ordered security forces to open
On Thursday, Barzani issued a statement saying the
protests were the work of a "very small group of
people determined to undermine the stability of the
Mohammed, the lone fatality, suffered two gunshots
to his abdomen after Kurdish security forces fired
into the air in a bid to disperse the crowd,
Sulaimaniyah provincial health chief Raykot Hama
Rashid said 48 others were injured, including eight
who were hit by bullets.
The demonstrators had been attempting to move toward
the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)
and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in
The KDP, led by Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani,
and the PUK, led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani,
have for decades lorded over Kurdistan.
The rallies have focused on widespread corruption,
high unemployment and poor basic services such as
electricity and water provision.
Massoud Barzani and his
relatives control a large number of commercial
enterprises in Kurdistan-Iraq, with 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.
The regional government is organizing a meeting
between government leaders and representatives of
opposition groups scheduled for Monday, according to
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