Security Forces Shoot Protesters in Kirkuk, Khanaqin; 18 Killed in Iraq

A demonstration against the Iraqi takeover of the predominantly Kurdish town of Khanaqin turned deadly on Thursday. One person was killed and 23 were wounded. The town sits in Diyala province outside the official boundaries of the Kurdish state. Reports on Wednesday suggested that citizens chased out Shi’ite militia forces that entered the town after Peshmerga units withdrew. Another protester was shot in Kirkuk.

The United Nations urged the government of Iraq to halt forced displacement of Kurds in areas newly handed over to Iraqi forces or Shi’ite militias. The looting and destruction of Kurdish properties has been reported over the last several days. As many as 100,000 Kurds fled expected or actual reprisals, but many have already returned to their homes. However, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered the army redeployed in Tuz Khormato where about 150 Kurdish homes were reportedly destroyed.

An arrest order was issued for Kurdish Vice President Kosrat Rasul after he called Iraq’s security personnel “invaders.” If he is found guilty, Rasul faces seven years in prison for the insult.

The U.S. Embassy warned Americans that although the situation in Kirkuk is currently stable it could change quickly.

At least 18 were killed and 28 were wounded in recent violence:

One person was killed and 23 were wounded by security forces, possibly Shi’ite militiamen, during a demonstration in Khanaqin. The protestor was a policeman and they may have been trying to break into a police station.

In Kirkuk, unknown gunmen shot dead a retired colonel. A Shi’ite militiaman shot and wounded a protester.

An old landmine killed two children, brothers, in Basra.

In Baghdad, a bomb killed two people.

Militants killed a militiaman in Zab.

A bomb wounded four people in Taji.

Ten militants were killed in airstrikes near the Syria border at Akashat.

Security forces killed a suicide bomber in Dijlah.

Read more by Margaret Griffis

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has
been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.