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Protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Continue to Demand Resignation of Politicians

Protests in Iraqi Kurdistan Continue to Demand Resignation of PoliticiansProtests in Iraqi Kurdistan Continue to Demand Resignation of Politicians

Hundreds of protesters faced off with security forces in Iraqi Kurdistan for a fourth day Thursday, demanding the resignation of politicians accused of graft.

Police deployed en masse in the town of Rania, located in Sulaymaniyah Governorate, where five demonstrators were shot dead and dozens wounded Tuesday amid public anger over an economic crisis, Ekurds Daily reported.

Since Monday, around 20 party offices and a town hall have been set ablaze across the autonomous region as protesters ramped up calls for the government to quit.

The protests follow a September independence referendum that triggered an unprecedented crisis between the regional government and Baghdad, which slammed the poll as unconstitutional. Kurdish civil servants have been on reduced salaries for months, while the price of fuel has soared due to demand for winter heating.

Faced with popular fury, the Goran party and Kurdistan Islamic Group announced they were withdrawing their ministers from the regional government.

Kurdistan is considered as the most corrupted part of Iraq. According to Kurdish lawmakers and leaked documents, billions of dollars are missing from Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil revenues. A Kurdish lawmaker said in March 2017 the amount of $1.2 billion from oil exports and Iraqi Kurdistan’s revenue has gone missing over the last three months.

 

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