Kurdish flag dispute stirs Iraqi tensions

By REUTERS
October 16, 2011 18:28

 
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BAGHDAD - Kurds protested in an Iraqi city on Sunday against an order to lower Kurdish flags from official buildings in a disagreement fanning tensions between Iraqi Arabs and the country's Kurdish population.

Iraq's disputed territories, particularly the area around the northern oil-wealthy city of Kirkuk, are considered potential flashpoints for future conflict when American troops leave as scheduled at the end of this year.

Hundreds of Kurdish demonstrators rallied in Khanaqin city waving Kurdish flags and shouting slogans against Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his government's decision to take down the Kurdish flag from government buildings.

"We are Kurds and the flag is our symbol. On what basis do they want to lower the Kurdistan flag," said Rawand Raghib, 23, a Kurd participating in the protest.

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