RealNews

11 Killed In Ethnic Violence In N. Iraq

An ethnic feud over a religious shrine in this dusty town north of Baghdad escalated into riots in which eight people were killed here Friday and three others slain today in Kirkuk, 50 miles north. U.S. troops trying to quell the violence between Kurds and ethnic Turkmens killed three of the people in Tuz Khurmatu and three in Kirkuk, the U.S. military said. By dusk, Tuz, as the Iraqis call the town, was calm, although Apache attack helicopters made a series of air patrols at sunset. In Kirkuk this evening, however, a couple of explosions of unknown origin rocked the city. Mounting attacks on U.S. troops have overshadowed simmering ethnic tensions among Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs in the north. But the eruption of communal violence and the speed with which the problems spread beyond Tuz Khurmatu was a stark reminder that the issue has not disappeared. Formerly displaced Kurds and resident Arabs continue to tussle over property in and around Kirkuk. Turkmens, a small minority in Iraq, accuse Kurds of trying to terrorize them out of their homes in Kirkuk and surrounding areas. Kurds claim that the Turkmens form a fifth column for Turkey, which opposes Kurdish aspirations for autonomy in the north. Full Story

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