Iraq: Kurdish politician killed in disputed region

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September 28, 2008 00:04

 
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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 125 kilometers 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.

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