Iraq: Fearful Kurds Want Increased Peshmerga Protection

Fear continues to drive Kurdish Iraqis in multi-ethnic Diyala province to demand extra protection, preferably from Kurdish forces. Meanwhile, at least seven Iraqis were killed and 11 more were wounded in attacks across the country.

Over 500 Kurds have been killed since about the end of 2010, prompting Kurdish families to demand protection by Peshmerga forces. Since Feb. 23 alone, when attacks left almost 100 people dead across the country, about 170 Kurdish families were forced to flee Jalawla for safer areas. They claim that Iraqi police are not as diligent in looking out Kurdish families, as they are when guarding targeted Arab officials friendly to their Kurdish counterparts. The problem is that Peshmerga troops are only in Diyala with hesitant permission from Baghdad, and the central government may not want more Kurdish forces in contested areas. Unfortunately, ttempts to protect themselves have been effectively thwarted.

Although no violence was reported in Diyala province today, at least seven Iraqis were killed elsewhere. Another 11 were wounded.

In Mosul, a grenade killed one woman and wounded four other civilians. Clashes left two dead and one person wounded.

In Baghdad, gunmen killed an employee of the Interior Ministry. Two civilians were wounded in the Khadraa neighborhood when a sticky bomb exploded on their car.

An official was killed and three others were wounded in Wassit province.

Gunmen killed a policeman’s brother in Balad.

An attack on a bus in Kut left one person dead.

A sticky bomb in Tikrit wounded an employee of the provincial council.

A grenade tossed at a preacher’s home in Diwaniya caused material damage only.

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Author: Margaret Griffis

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