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Kurdish Guards Fire On Protest In Iraq, Kill Two


Iraqi Kurdish antigovernment protesters

Iraqi Kurdish antigovernment protesters

Kurdish security forces today reportedly opened fire on a crowd of protesters calling for political reforms in northern Iraq, killing at least two people.

Iraq has seen small-scale demonstrations almost daily in recent weeks, mainly centered in the impoverished southern provinces and staged by Iraqis angry over corruption and a lack of basic services like electricity and clean drinking water.

In the southern city of Basra, about 600 people gathered in front of the provincial headquarters, facing off against police protecting the building.

Dozens of angry protesters also stormed the municipal building and set it on fire in the small town of Nasir, south of Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki today blamed Ba'athists and Al-Qaeda for inciting the protests.

Three people were killed on February 16 in the southeastern city of Kut, after about 2,000 demonstrators attacked local government offices, setting fire to some buildings, including the governor's house.

compiled from agency reports
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