Death toll reached 92 in Iraq, four ministers resignedApril 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags: army intervention, Hawijah, Kirkuk, public protests
World Bulletin/News Desk
Death toll was announced as 92 over the incidents in Hawijah town of Kirkuk in Iraq.
In the past two days, incidents spread after the army forces intervened in a public protest during which 92 people were killed and more than 100 others were wounded.
An ambush on an army convoy near Tikrit with roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenades killed three more soldiers. Three more troops were killed in an attack in Diyala province.
Later on Wednesday, clashes erupted in the northern city of Mosul, where gunmen launched an attack after using a mosque loudspeaker to call Sunnis to join their fight. At least three police and four soldiers died in the assault, officials said.
In a separate attack, at least eight people were also killed and 23 more wounded when a car bomb exploded in eastern Baghdad, police and medical sources said.
Also, four Iraqi ministers resigned to protest the incidents.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Salih al-Mutlaq, Minister of Industry & Minerals Ahmad Nasir Dilli al-Karbuli, Education Minister Muhammad Tamim, and Minister of Science & Technology Abd al-Karim al-Samarrai resigned as a reaction to the incidents. On Wednesday, tribes in Al Anbar city in the west of Iraq decided to set up armed units to protect the protestors.
Thousands of Sunnis have been protesting since December, venting frustrations building up since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the empowerment of Iraq’s Shi’ite majority through the ballot box.
“We are staying restrained so far, but if government forces keep targeting us, no one can know what will happen in the future, and things could spin out of control,” said Abdul Aziz al-Faris, a Sunni tribal leader in Hawija.
Maliki has set up a committee headed by a senior Sunni leader to investigate the violence at the Hawija camp. He has promised to punish any excessive use of force and provide for victims’ families.
Meanwhile, Organization of the Islamic Cooperation released a statement, and condemned the excessive force used by security forces.
According to a written statement released by OIC, Iraqi government was called to protect the unity of the public, follow the route of peace and dialogue, and fulfill the demands of protestors.
It was also added in the statement that opinion leaders and religious officials had to make efforts within the framework of Mecca Agreement which was signed to strengthen unity of Iraqi people.
Iraqi Sunni and Shia leaders signed the Mecca Agreement in October 2006 to stop the sectarian tension and bloodshed in the country.