Second Day of Violent Clashes


SULAIMANI, Iraqi Kurdistan — Around 99 people were injured in protests in Sulaimani today. According to health officials, 17 of them had bullet wounds and the rest were injured by rocks, sticks and tear gas.

Doctor Rekawt Muhammed from the city’s health directorate told Rudaw that 33 of the wounded were from the Peshmarga forces, 33 were anti-riot police and 33 were civilian protesters.

According to doctor Muhammed one of the civilian wounded is in critical condition.

A Rudaw reporter who was present at the scene said that security forces approached the square where the protesters had gathered from both Piramerd and Kawa Streets, firing their guns.

Behind the security convoy drove ambulances.

By the time they reached there, the square was deserted except for a number of protesters who remained and affronted the security forces with rocks and sticks. In return the forces fired tear gas into the crowed to disperse them.

In the confrontation a number of protesters and security forces were injured.

This was the second violent day in the Sulaimani protests that has been going on uninterrupted since February 17th when demonstrators first took to the street demanding reform and an end to corruption in the Kurdistan Regional Government.

On the other hand, there was a small confrontation between some members of parliament from the Gorran list and security forces in the capital Erbil.

An MP from the Gorran said that five MPs went to rescue their fellow MP, Dr. Pshitwan whose house had been surrounded by security forces. Upon arrival they were prevented from entering the house.

Adnan Osman, a Gorran MP said, “We only went there to save Dr. Pshtiwan. But we were threatened by civilians and policemen who had surrounded his house. And after we left they opened fire on us, but we didn’t get hit.”

Osman said that Dr. Pshtiwan was not arrested. Only his house had been surrounded by security forces.

Dr. Pshtiwan had supposedly tried to organize demonstrations in the capital Erbil that has largely escaped the current wave of protests seen in other cities and towns of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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