Disturbances In Kirkuk Afp Az Zaman

Disturbances in Kirkuk

(AFP/ az-Zaman): Tension gripped the northern city of Kirkuk Monday after armed clashes betwen Kurds and Turkmen.

There have been a number of violent incidents lately. On Saturday, 92 Turkmen returned from Baghdad after having protested the marginalization of their ethnic group. There was celebratory fire on their arrival on Saturday night, which killed a Turkmen woman and wounded 10. Celebrators unfurled the Turkmen flag. The two major Kurdish parties asked the provincial governor to restore order in the city.

The same night (Saturday into Sunday) there were attacks on the police academy at the center of the city, and the airport (which is US base). On Sunday, some police were killed and others wounded when unknown assailants attacked an inspection checkpoint in Kirkuk. And, on Sunday two civilians were killed in a Katyusha rocket attack at the airport.

CNN had reported Saturday, “In a statement issued Saturday, the Turkmens said they have decided to go on a hunger strike to protest what they say are inequities in the process; most importantly, they are seeking official recognition as a national minority in the proposed interim constitution and feel they are being excluded. Dozens of Turkmen people, some wrapped in chains and duct tape, staged a protest in Baghdad. “The draft of the constitution shows superiority of some forces to achieve profits at the expense of the Turkmen people and the others of the Iraqi people,” the statement said.