Iraqi lawmaker blames Kurds for bomb attacks
(DPA)12 July 2009
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi lawmaker on Sunday blamed Kurdish militias for a recent series of lethal attacks near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, which have raised political tensions in the area.
At least four people were killed and 35 others were wounded on Saturday, when a car bomb exploded in the eastern Mosul neighbourhood of Kukjali, a Shabak enclave.
“Kurdish parties and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces are responsible for the explosions and acts of violence in the city of Mosul that have martyred the city, especially the attacks against the Shabaks,” Iraqi lawmaker Hanin al-Qadu, who represents Iraq’s Shabak minority in parliament, told the German Press Agency dpa.
Saturday’s attack followed a bombing in Tal Afar, just to the west of Mosul, which killed 35 people on Thursday and left dozens of others wounded.
Tal Afar is home to a concentration of members of Iraq’s Turkmen minority. Turkmen political parties have been resolutely opposed to Kurdish ambitions for an independent state.
Tensions have recently risen in Nineveh province, which contains Mosul and Tal Afar.
The Arab nationalist local government asserted itself in the weeks leading up to the June 30 withdrawal of US troops from urban areas, vowing to rid Mosul’s security forces of Kurdish Peshmerga militiamen.
At the same time, the Kurdish Regional Government’s parliament passed a draft constitution that included areas of Nineveh and oil-rich Kirkuk within its definition of Kurdistan’s borders.
Voters in northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region will put the draft to a referendum as part of Kurdish parliamentary polls scheduled for July 25.
“The Peshmerga forces have refused to abide by the decisions of the Iraqi security forces,” al-Qadu said. “They have been opposed to the political arguments in favour of maintaining an atmosphere of peace, and have disturbed this atmosphere.”
“These bombings have political agendas,” he continued. “We regret that some would spill Iraqi blood to achieve their political goals.”
Kurdish politicians blame the continuing violence in Nineveh on Sunni al-Qaeda and ex-Baathist militants. The Kurds’ political opponents have blamed the Kurds for the violence, saying the attacks are designed to force US soldiers, seen as more sympathetic to the Kurds, to stay in the region.