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Death toll from protests in Iraq’s Kirkuk rises to 4, police say

The death toll from protests in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk has risen to four, according to a police spokesman on Sunday.

Amir Nuri told Anadolu that 15 other people have been injured in the protests.

Supporters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) demonstrated in Kirkuk on Saturday to demand the reopening a highway linking the city to Erbil.

The highway was closed by Iraqi Turkmens who oppose the handover of the Joint Operations Command building to the KDP.

Protesters blocked several roads by burning tires, forcing the local authorities to declare a curfew in the city.

Protests broke out in Kirkuk last week following a government decision to hand over the Kirkuk Operations Command headquarters to the KDP, which argues 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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