Kurdistan police: Two protesters killed in 2-day clashes with security forces

Kurdish demonstrators

Anbar ( – Two Kurdish protesters were killed in clashes with security forces over the past two days, Ranya District Police said.

In a Wednesday statement, quoted by Baghdad Today, the Ranya District Police said, “The encounters between Kurdish forces and angry protesters left two people dead and several others injured,” the statement read.

“Security forces opened fire at protesters after several partisan headquarters and government institutions were set ablaze by them,” the statement added.

Earlier in the day, Kurdish forces launched a wide-scale arrest campaign in Sulaymaniyah to silence demonstrators, who have taken to the streets for the third day in a row in protest at delayed salary payments and poor services. Scores of civilians were arrested as part of the campaign.

On Tuesday, Kurdish protesters torched the offices of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the opposition Change Movement (Gorran) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Piramagroon northwest of Sulaimaniya.

The Iraqi Kurdistan region has been witnessing a sweeping wave of protests since Monday as demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the austerity policy, recently adopted by the Kurdish government.

The Baghdad-based Iraqi government had vowed to send salaries of Kurdish public employees following a political crisis and a later military standoff that resulted from the referendum the autonomous Kurdistan region held in September for secession from Iraq.

The Iraqi government had adopted penal measures against the Kurdish authorities following the poll, including a ban on financial transactions.

The issues of employees’ payments and the region’s share in the national budget had always been a subject of dispute between both governments.

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