Gunfire targets Kurdistan’s ruling KDP office in Sulaymaniyah

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Sulaymaniyah (  Unknown gunmen shot at the office of Kurdistan Region’s ruling party in Sulaymaniyah late Monday, an office official declared as tensions grow following the resignation of President Masoud Barzani.

Salim Saeed, the KDP official in Sulaymaniyah, was quoted telling reporters that unknown gunmen shot the party’s main headquarter and its nearby branch and fled away. He said no human losses were caused by the attack.

Tensions broke out over the past two days after Barzani declared he was not going to extend his term beyond November 1st, with the parliament distributing his powers. Several political parties’ offices were reportedly assaulted. Some protesters stormed the Kurdish parliament’s building during the Sunday decisive session. Saboteurs also reportedly ransacked the offices of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party and the opposition Gorran movement.

Divisions deepened between the KDP and its ruling partner, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, following Iraqi forces’ takeover of Kirkuk province earlier this month.

Iraqi federal forces took over several Kurdish-held areas in Kirkuk, Nineveh and Diyala provinces from Kurdish Peshmerga troops in response to an independence referendum the semi-autonomous region held in September, in which 92 percent voted for independence from Iraq.

Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi called Monday for calm and for avoiding chaos in Kurdistan Region. “We are closely watching developments in Kurdistan Region and the assaults on political parties’ offices and media workers, as well as attempts to induce chaos and turmoil in Erbil and Dohuk,” a statement by Abadi’s media office read. “That is something that harms our citizens in the region and the general situation,” it added.


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