At least one policeman has been killed and more than 15 people wounded in Iraq’s semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, military sources say.
Halabja local police clashed with anti-local government protesters, who have been inspired by the recent revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East.
Protesters have been demonstrating against corruption, high unemployment and poverty, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
“Protesters clashed with security forces in Halabja. One policeman was killed. Fifteen people were wounded including two protesters with gunshot wounds. We also have another policeman in critical condition,” security sources said.
Protests and clashes continue with demonstrators calling on the mayor of Halabja to resign and stand trial, Nasik Qadir, a spokesman for the protesters, said.
The protests have been going on since February 17. On Sunday, an unprecedented number of protesters gathered in the city of Sulaymanieh to protest the regional government’s corruption and failure to implement democracy. They have also called for the removal of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Last month, 30 police officers and two protesters were injured after people took to the streets in Halabja and Sulaymanieh.
The Iraqi government has tried to head off nationwide rallies by slashing the salaries of politicians and top officials.