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 Iraq's disputed Khanaqin city council demands Kurdish Peshmarga forces protection

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Iraq's disputed Khanaqin city council demands Kurdish Peshmarga forces protection  26.7.2012  







 
Diyala province, a restive part of Iraq outside the Kurdish autonomous region of Kurdistan but home to many Kurds. The Diyala district, which includes a string of villages and some of Iraq's oil reserves, is home to about 175,000 Kurds, most of them Shiites. Photo: AFP/Ekurd.net
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July 26, 2012

KHANAQIN, Diyala province, — Khanaqin local council members unanimously demand Peshmarga (Kurdistan border guards) to advance in order to protect the lives of citizens in the area, council chairman said.

In the meeting today the council members discussed the "weakness" of the security forces in protecting the civilians, said Samir Mohammed.

Mohammed added all the members of the council who represent the entire components of the city decided to call on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to expedite force into Saadiya and Jalawla districts.

He continued the step will also set the stage for the displaced Kurds to return to their homes after they left under threats.

Reports suggest that more and more Kurds from Saadiya and Jalawla are forced to leave their homes behind under threats.

Kurds also fall prey for insurgent attacks more than other ethnic groups in these districts whose ownership is disputed between KRG and Baghdad.

Currently Iraqi forces jointly with a relatively small Kurdish force protect the disputed areas.

Diyala province, a restive part of Iraq outside the Kurdish autonomous region of Kurdistan but home to many Kurds. The Diyala district,www.ekurd.net which includes a string of villages and some of Iraq's oil reserves, is home to about 175,000 Kurds, most of them Shiites.

In June 2006, the local council of Khanaqin proposed that the district be integrated into the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

During the Arabisation policy of Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, a large number of Kurdish Shiites were displaced by force from Khanaqin. They started returning after the fall of Saddam in 2003.

Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution is related to the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city and other disputed areas like Khanaqin.

Kurdistan's government says oil-rich Khanaqin should be part of its semi-autonomous region, which it hopes to expand in a referendum in the future. In the meantime, Khanaqin and other so-called disputed areas remain targets of Sunni Arab insurgents opposed to Kurdish expansion and vowing to hold onto land seized during ex-dictator Saddam Hussein's efforts to "Arabize" the region.

AK news part of this report by Bryar Mohammed

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