Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Iraq and the Kurds: The Brewing Battle over Kirkuk

Middle East Report N°56 18 juillet 2006
As all eyes are turned toward efforts to stabilise Iraq, the conflict that has been percolating in Kirkuk remains dangerous and dangerously neglected. That struggle is equal parts street brawl over oil riches, ethnic competition over identity between Kurdish, Turkoman, Arab and Assyrian-Chaldean communities, and titanic clash between two nations, Arab and Kurd. Given the high stakes, the international community cannot afford to stand by, allowing the situation to slip into chaos by default. It needs to step in and propose a solution that addresses all sides’ core concerns without crossing their existential red lines. The most viable negotiated outcome, which a special UN envoy should mediate between leaders of Kirkuk’s communities as well as representatives of the federal government and the Kurdish federal region, would rest on the following provisions:

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Kirkuk: Kurdish Police shoot two Turkmen protesters

Turkmeni cafe in Kirkuk hit by suicide bomber; at least 25 killed

Hürriyet 18.07.2006

A cafe frequented by ethnic Turkmeni citizens 80 kilometers to the south of Kirkuk was hit yesterday by a suicide bomber. Initial estimates are that 25 Turkmeni were killed in the attack. Ahmet Muratli, a representative from the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC), said there was worry that the death count from the bombing, which took place Sunday evening around 18:00, could go higher. Muratli reported that the suicide bomber entered the Aksu Cafe, a popular site for Shiite Turkmeni along the Tusurmati River, and asked for a glass of water before pulling the pin on his bomb. Work aimed at pulling the bodies of the dead out of the cafe was still going on last night at 22:00. The Turkish Foreign Ministry is following the situation closely, with special head advisor Altay Cengizer reporting on developments in the region to Foreign Ministry Abdullah Gul. Just two days ago, the president of the Iraqi Turkmen Front, Sadettin Ergec, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on him in Kirkuk.

Terrorists aimed Dr. Sadeddin Ergec, the Iraqi Turkmen Front leader 16.07.2006

Once again terrorism aimed at the Iraqi Turkmen Front parade presented by Dr. Sadeddin Ergec, yesterday afternoon of the 15th of July 2006 in the Turkmen city of Kirkuk. This action was part of the new terrorist series targeting Turkmen leaders and intellectuals in Kirkuk and the rest of Turkmen regions (Turkmeneli). While the convoy of the ITF leader was heading to the Baghdad Street region in Kirkuk, a booby-trapped car exploded when the procession passed, wounding four members of the protection personnel of the Turkmen Front. A number of Turkmen citizens at the same location were also injured during the explosion and they were all transferred to Kirkuk General Hospital to receive treatment. It should be noted that this is similar to the first attempt to assassinate the President of the Iraqi Turkmen Front since he assumed the leadership of the ITF. In a television interview conducted by the Turkmeneli TV with Dr. Sadeddin Ergec after the assassination attempt, President of the Front declared that: “Such operations will not fear, and it will not prevent us from the service of Iraq and all Iraqis. The Iraqi Turkmen Front will remain conservative and insisting on the unity of Iraq's territory and people. Moreover, such operations will not stop us from striving, but on contrary, it would strengthen the determination in achieving our demands and rights. We know very well that such operation is only part of intimidation to force the indigenous people of Kirkuk to migrate. The terrorists in Kirkuk will be defeated and the Turkmen would remain stronger than ever before and they remain in their city”. The same day a bomb was exploded in one of the Internet libraries in Khalil Agha shopping centre in Kirkuk, killing the shop owner and wounding a number of Turkmen civilians.Iraqi Turkmen FrontUK RepresentationInformation Office15 July 2006

Monday, July 17, 2006

40 killed in Iraq market massacre

(AP)17 July 2006
The death toll from the Tuz Khurmatu suicide bombing on Sunday rose to 28, according to the latest toll from the police.
A suicide bomber walked into a cafe in the town about 75 kilometres (50 miles) from the oil city of Kirkuk and reportedly asked for a glass of water before blowing himself up, police said.
“Of the dead, 25 were Turkmen Shiites and three others were Kurds,” said Colonel Abbas Mohammed Amin, police chief of Tuz Khurmatu. ....>

Iraq market attack kills 55

Monday 17 July 2006, 13:37 Makka Time, 10:37 GMT
Worst attack
It was one of the worst attacks in the country in recent months and came on the anniversary of the coup that brought Saddam Hussein's Baath party to power in 1968.
On Sundday, a suicide bomber killed at least 20 people in a cafe outside the capital, and the head of the country's North Oil Company was kidnapped in Baghdad....>

26 die after a suicide bomb attack on Iraq café

AT LEAST 26 people were killed and 25 others injured when a suicide bomber targeted an Iraq café yesterday.
Witnesses said the bomber asked for a glass of water before detonating himself. The blast was so powerful that it collapsed the ceiling of the one-storey building, burying many of the victims.....>

Twenty dead in north Iraq suicide bomb

Sunday, 16 Jul 2006 20:12

More than 20 people are thought to have been killed after a suicide bomber detonated himself in a bustling cafe in northern Iraq this evening.

Scores of people were injured in the blast, which occurred in a popular coffee shop in the majority-Turkmen town of Tuz Khormato, which is 120 miles north of Baghdad. ....>