3 Killed, 20 wounded as Tens of Thousands of Kurds March in Joy in Kirkuk
The Guardian reports that tens of thousands of Kurds marched in Kirkuk to celebrate the signing of the interim constitution. They incorrectly believed that it accepted a consolidated Kurdistan and gave Kirkuk to the Kurds. Oil-rich Kirkuk, with a population of about 800,000, is divided a third each between Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds. Rioting broke out last December between the ethnic factions at the very suggestion that it be joined to Kurdistan.
al-Hayat says that three Iraqis (including a woman) were killed, and 20 were ounded in clashes that ranged Kurds against Arabs and Turkmen. The clashes followed the Kurdish demonstrations of joy. Police Chief Turhan Yusuf explained that after tens of thousands of Kurds came out into the streets, “Some of them began firing into the air, and the demonstration evolved” into clashes.” About 12 of the 20 wounded were seriously hurt and were taken to hospital. He added that the city had been put under night curfew.
Newsday explains that ethnic tensions were anyway running high in the city lately.
In other news, AP reports:
‘ In the northern city of Mosul, gunmen fled after firing on the car. Akram Mahmoud Nijim, a member of a local council, was killed and another councilor was wounded. In Khaldiya, west of Baghdad, a bomb exploded under the car of the police chief, Ismail Turki, as he left his home Monday morning. Turki’s driver and a bodyguard were wounded, said a neighbor, Khaled Fayyad.”
AP also says, ‘ Attackers opened fire Monday on a car carrying two local council members in Mosul, killing one and wounding the other, police said. Insurgents also tried but failed to assassinate the police chief in a central Iraqi town. In Baghdad, insurgents fired mortar shells at two police stations in central Baghdad, injuring four people, including one policeman, Iraqi officials said. The attacks occurred shortly before the Iraqi Governing Council signed an interim constitution. ‘