Week of Iraqi Protests Turn Deadly

At least eight protesters were killed after a week of violent demonstrations in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah province as government employees continue to raise their concerns over unpaid salaries and rampant corruption.

At least eight protesters were killed after a week of violent demonstrations in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah province as government employees continue to raise their concerns over unpaid salaries and rampant corruption.

Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets to complain about the monthly paychecks that they have not received since October. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) currently employs more than 1.25 million individuals.

In the six-day straight demonstrations, protesters were seen setting fire to government buildings and headquarters of several political parties.

Eight protesters were killed during their clash with the local security forces in different parts of Sulaymaniyah province since unrests erupted on Dec. 3. An officer also died after having fatal injuries. At least 12 other individuals were wounded during the violent protests.

According to witnesses and health officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, security forces were seen using tear gases and live bullets to disperse the crowds of protesters.

The UN’s political mission in Iraq released a statement on Monday, condemning the “acts of violence” that resulted in “a number of deaths and injuries and the destruction of property” in the Kurdish region.

“The right to peaceful protest must be protected and it is imperative that demonstrations remain peaceful,” it said. “Investigations should commence immediately to identify the perpetrators of the violence and for these persons to be held fully accountable.”


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