Decision to hand over army building in Iraq to KDP postponed after protests
Protesters end demonstration in Kirkuk, open blocked road, says governor
By Haydar Karaalp, Ali Makram Ghareeb and Turgut Alp Boyraz
BAGHDAD/ KIRKUK, Iraq (AA) - A decision to hand over a building used by the Joint Operations Command forces in Iraq to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was postponed and demonstrations ended, a local governor said early Sunday.
Kirkuk Gov. Rakan Saeed al-Jabouri said in a statement on Facebook that the issue of transferring the building in Kirkuk used by forces loyal to the central government to the KDP was postponed as a result of his telephone call with Prime Minister Muhammed Shia al-Sudani.
Al-Jabouri said he met protesters in front of the building and told them about the al-Sudani 's postponement order, whereupon the protesters decided to pack up their tents, end their protest and open the blocked road.
The tents set up in front of the headquarters started to be removed by demonstrators, according to information obtained by an Anadolu correspondent.
- Death toll rises 3
Kirkuk Police Department spokesman Amir Nuri told Anadolu that the death toll has risen to three, and at least nine others were injured during protests demanding the reopening of a highway linking the city to Erbil.
Iraqi Chief of General Staff Abdel Emir Yarallah arrived in Kirkuk amid the violence and held a security meeting with officials at the building.
The Kirkuk Governorate said the meeting was attended by Yarallah, as well as the governor and army, police and intelligence officials.
Last week, protests broke out in Kirkuk against a government decision to hand over the building to the KDP, which argued that the building was previously used by them and should be given back to the party.
Peshmerga forces of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) were deployed to bases evacuated by the Iraqi army in Kirkuk following the emergence of the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group in 2014.
In 2017, Iraqi government forces entered Kirkuk, ending the Peshmerga presence in the city.
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