11 Kurdish guards killed, injured as protesters storm PUK premises in Erbil

Kurdish demonstrators while taking part in a rally in Erbil against poor services

Erbil ( Four guards of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) were killed as Kurdish protesters stormed the union’s headquarters in Erbil in protest at late salary payments and poor services.

“Angry demonstrators broke into the premises of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan at Koysinjaq town in Erbil, protesting at poor services in the autonomous Kurdistan region,” a source told Sputnik on Tuesday.

The clashes left four of the PUK guards dead and seven others injured, the source added.

Meanwhile, a source told NRT News that four policemen were injured in clashes with anti-government protesters at al-Saray square in central Sulaimaniya. The clashes left six demonstrators wounded as well.

All the injured were taken to the emergency hospital in the city for treatment, the source said.

Kurdish forces have been heavily deployed throughout the Kurdistan Region to prevent protesters from staging any rallies.

Earlier in the day, Kurdish security forces dispersed anti-government protests in the center of the Kurdistan Region city of Sulaimaniya as demonstrators continued to stage rallies for the second consecutive day in protest at the Kurdistan Regional Government’s austerity measures, delays of payments and poor services.

The angry 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 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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