40 people injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in northern Iraq

April 19th, 2011 - 2:27 am ICT by BNO News  

ARBIL, IRAQ (BNO NEWS) — At least 40 people on Monday were injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in two northern Iraqi cities, Aswat al-Iraq news agency reported.

In Arbil, a total of 22 demonstrators were wounded after clashes with law enforcement agents during a protest staged in Salah al-Din University. A member of the Kurdistan’s parliament, Mohammad Kayani, was among the injured protesters.

A group of university professors, clerics and students clashed with security forces after the latter attempted to disperse them. The law enforcement agents were undercover and wearing civilian clothes, according to witnesses.

In another demonstration, at least 18 people were injured after clashes with anti-riot squad forces in Sulaimaniya. Eight of the wounded were law enforcement agents, according to Hawar Naqshabandy, director of the city’s emergency hospital.

The clashes took place after security forces stormed the al-Saray square where protestors have been staging a sit-in since mid February. Three people were injured by gunfire and the others were wounded by stones and tear gas.

In Mosul, the Iraqi army prevented the entry of a delegation from Falluja that intended to take part in the sit-ins that have been running for ten days. The group arrived in a bus carrying 40 people, including chieftains and public figures.

Hundreds of Kurdistan’s protesters have taken to the streets in Sulaimaniya and other northern cities for the past month to demand better living conditions, an end to corruption, and political reforms. Security forces have used water cannons and fired shots into the air to disperse protesters, injuring hundreds and killing at least seven protesters.

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