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Anti-government protesters clash with police in Iraq’s Kurdistan

19 December 2017 14:54

 

Security forces in Iraq’s Kurdistan region have clashed with demonstrators protesting corruption and unpaid salaries for a second day.

The demonstrators, including state employees, protested in several areas in the provinces of Sulaymaniyah and Halabja on Tuesday.

They accuse the regional government of corruption, calling for its resignation and for better life conditions.

Kurdish media outlets reported that security forces fired live ammunition into the air to disperse the demonstrators who had gathered in the Bardarki Sara Square in Sulaymaniyah.

Media reports said people in Sulaymaniyah called for the dissolution of the government and asked Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Iraq’s parliament to interfere.

Clashes erupted in Halabja between local police and protesters who tried to attack the office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan political party.

Meanwhile, angry protesters torched the mayor’s building in Koya in Erbil Province on Tuesday.

Angry protesters had reportedly set fire to the offices of the five main Kurdish political parties on Monday.

At least 3,000 protesters, angered by years of austerity and unpaid public sector salaries, took part in a Monday protest. Teachers, hospital workers and other public sector employees demanded their wages from the KRG, with some saying they had not been paid in over three years.

Tensions have soared in Iraqi Kurdistan since an independence referendum vote on September 25, which had been opposed by the central government in Baghdad.

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