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Sep 28th, 2008

Kurdish Politician Killed in Disputed Region

September 27, 2008

BAGHDAD — Iraqi police fatally shot a Kurdish politician in one of Iraq’s most volatile provinces Saturday, a killing that underlines the growing tensions between Kurds and Arabs in parts of the north.

Even as Iraq has seen a sharp decline in Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence, hostility is deepening between Kurds and Arabs in Iraq’s north as Kurdish authorities begin to exert more authority beyond the boundaries of their autonomous region.

Riya Qahtan, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, was killed Saturday morning in Jalula, a small town 80 miles northeast of Baghdad in the ethnically mixed province of Diyala, said Jabar Yawer, a spokesman for the Kurdish military, or peshmerga. Jalula has a mostly Sunni Arab population with a substantial Kurdish minority.

The incident occurred after two Sunni Arab policemen stopped three members of the Kurdish secret service at a market and demanded they show identification. They refused, and within minutes police reinforcements arrived at the scene, arrested them and took them to police headquarters, Yawer said.

Qahtan then went to the police station and persuaded officers to release the detainees, who had been working as guards for his party. But as the group was leaving, two policemen opened fire and shot Qahtan, Yawer added. …

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Mayor Wounded by Bomb in Northern Iraq Town

September 28, 2008

BAGHDAD — The Kurdish mayor of a town in a volatile area of northern Iraq was wounded by a roadside bomb attack on his motorcade on Sunday, police said.

Three bodyguards and two civilians were also wounded by the bomb targeting Mayor Ahmed Zarkoush in the town of Sa’adiya, near Jalawla in the north of Iraq’s volatile Diyala province.

That part of the province, with an ethnically mixed population, is just outside Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region and has seen disputes in recent weeks between the central authorities and Kurdish security forces.

Kurdish troops, known as Peshmerga, withdrew from parts of Diyala in August under a deal with the government in Baghdad, but Kurds there say they fear the central authorities cannot protect them from attacks by al Qaeda Sunni Arab militants.

Kurdish security forces and Iraqi police clashed on Saturday in Jalawla, with one person on each side killed, after a dispute at a Kurdish party headquarters in the town.

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Twin Car Bombing in Western Baghdad Kills 13

Image: A police officer looks at a burnt vehicle
A police officer looks at a burnt vehicle in a parking lot after a bomb attack in Baghdad’s Karrada district on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008. (Photo credit: Ceerwan Aziz / Reuters)

September 28, 2008

BAGHDAD — Two car bombs killed 13 people and wounded 37 doing evening shopping Sunday in mainly Shiite Muslim areas of western Baghdad, Iraqi officials said. …

[In other violence], a minibus exploded near a market in the Shurta Rabaa district Sunday, while a car bomb in the Amil neighborhood apparently targeted a parking lot used by shoppers at a nearby market protected by concrete blast walls, police said.

Both areas were formerly mixed neighborhoods that now have a Shiite majority after years of sectarian attacks. …

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Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008 as reported by Reuters.

BAGHDAD – An unidentified sniper shot dead two Iraqi soldiers and one civilian at a checkpoint in the Zayouna district, eastern Baghdad, police said.

SA’ADIYA – A roadside bomb wounded the Kurdish mayor of Sa’adiya town, 65 miles northeast of Baghdad, when it struck his motorcade there, police said.

MUSSAYAB – Gunmen killed one man and wounded another in a drive-by shooting Saturday in Mussayab, 40 miles south of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed one man and wounded his brother in an attack on their shop in western Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman in a drive-by shooting in western Mosul, police said.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded three others in the Mansour district, western Baghdad, police said.

NEAR TIKRIT – A roadside bomb struck the convoy of the governor of Salahuddin province, wounding three of his guards Saturday north of Tikrit, 95 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Gunmen killed the coach of a table-tennis sport club on Saturday in northern Mosul, police said.

TUZ KHURMATO – One militant was killed and two others were wounded in clashes with police Saturday in Tuz Khurmato, 105 miles north of Baghdad, police said. Three policemen were also wounded.

KIRKUK – Gunmen targeting a police vehicle in a drive-by shooting wounded one policeman in southern Kirkuk, 155 miles north of Baghdad, police said.



Afghan Woman Police Director Gunned Down

September 28, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a high-ranking woman police official as she went to work in Afghanistan’s largest southern city Sunday, officials said.

Malalai Kakar led the department of crimes against women in Kandahar city, said Zalmai Ayubi, spokesman for the provincial governor. Her son, 18, was wounded in the attack, he said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the death of the 41-year-old police official. …

Elsewhere in Kandahar province, a suicide bomber on a motorbike attacked a border police convoy in Spin Boldak district, killing three policemen and three civilians, said the regional border police chief, Abdul Razzaq. The blast wounded 17 others — all but of them civilians, Razzaq said.

In other violence, an Afghan police official said a U.S.-led coalition killed three civilians in an operation apparently targeting a suicide bomb cell in eastern Afghanistan. That claim was disputed by the coalition, which said its troops killed two al-Qaida militants.

Gen. Abdul Jalal Jalal, the provincial police chief in the eastern province of Kunar, said airstrikes hit a compound in the province’s Asmar district, killing three civilians. …

Civilian deaths are a highly sensitive topic in Afghanistan. Karzai has long pleaded with international troops to avoid civilian deaths in its operations.

The Afghan government and U.N. say that an Aug. 22 U.S. operation killed some 90 civilians in the western province of Herat, a strike that strained U.S.-Afghan relations.

An original U.S. investigation found that up to 35 militants and seven civilians were killed in that strike. However, a new investigation was opened — and is now under way — after video images emerged appearing to show many more dead than the U.S. had acknowledged. …

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Gunmen Abduct Polish Engineer in Pakistan

September 28, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Suspected militants seized a Polish engineer Sunday and killed his Pakistani driver, guard and assistant in the country’s volatile northwest as security forces fought to take control of the border region. …

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