Saturday, August 12, 2006

Gunmen storm Kurdish offices in southern Iraq

KERBALA, Iraq (Reuters) - Gunmen angered by criticism of a Shi'ite cleric ransacked offices of President Jalal Talabani's Kurdish party in southern Iraq on Friday after a newspaper claimed the cleric was fanning sectarian tensions.
Jameel Zangana, a senior official with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Kerbala, said gunmen smashed windows and doors of the PUK office in the city.
In the nearby city of Kut, police said one guard was injured during a similar attack by about 50 men on the PUK office.
The attacks came after Fadhila -- a Shi'ite party powerful in the southern Iraqi city of Basra -- demanded an apology from Talabani for an article in a PUK-owned newspaper accusing its top cleric, Sheikh al-Yaqoubi, of "pouring oil on fire to inflame a war between Arab Shi'ites and Kurds" in Kirkuk......>