UPDATED: Kurdistan security disperse anti-government protesters in Sulaimaniya

A general view shows the Citadel of Erbil in Erbil, Iraq April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Halabja ( Kurdish security forces dispersed on Tuesday anti-government protests in the center of the Kurdistan Region city of Sulaimaniya as demonstrations continue for a second day to decry delay in the disbursement of employees’ salaries and poor services. 

Baghdad Today reported that security dispersed demonstrators at Falakat Sarai in central Sulaimaniya with tear gas.

Alghad Press quoted Mohamed Rasoul, a member of Sulaimaniya council, saying that the council convened to discuss the turmoil, adding that attendants urged the government to listen to protesters’ demands.

Earlier, Russia Today published photos purportedly showing demonstrators storming the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s office in Halabja. Others tore the Iraqi flag in Kafri region, according to the channel.

In a related development, Kurdish NRTTV network reported three injuries among protesters as they demonstrated in front of the Koi Sanjaq mayoral building before torching it.

Thousands of Iraqi Kurds staged protests on Monday to decry delay of salaries and lack of services in parts of the region.

Demonstrators reportedly torched the offices of ruling and opposition political parties, while police responded with tear gas.

The Kurdistan government released a statement defending the right to protest but warned against destruction of property. Its security council, meanwhile, expressed concerns of military activity by the central government near one of the region’s areas.

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 Kudistan 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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