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Hundreds protest against killing of journalist in Baghdad

English.news.cn   2014-03-23 18:22:35

BAGHDAD, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of angry demonstrators rallied in Baghdad on Sunday in protest at the killing of a journalist by a Kurdish officer on Saturday.

They demanded the withdrawal of the presidential Kurdish security brigade, better known as Peshmerga, from the Iraqi capital.

Journalist Mohammed Bdiewi, head of the Free Iraq Radio station and a media teacher at Mustansriyah University, was shot dead in Baghdad's central district of Karrada after he had a dispute with an officer and soldiers guarding a presidential site belonging to Iraq's Kurdish President Jalal Talabani.

Teachers and media students of Mustansriyah University rallied with hundreds of civilians near the university in eastern Baghdad and chanted slogans against the presence of Peshmerga brigade in the capital.

The Kurdish Peshmerga brigade is responsible for the security of Talabani's compound at the edge of the Green Zone and other Kurdish offices in Baghdad as well as the parliament compound in the area which houses some of the Iraqi offices and the U.S. embassy.

On Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered to arrest the officer who believed to shoot Bdiewi dead, and then Maliki himself arrived at the scene as many humvees were surrounding the presidential compound.

However, a Kurdish officer from the presidential brigade told local media that the presidency condemn such incidents and would immediately hand over the culprit, but the incident was politicized with the aim of evicting the presidential brigade from Baghdad.

"The prime minister did not give us time to hand over the perpetrator and send his heavy armed force, then he came himself as if they are exploiting the situation for something greater," the officer anonymously told AIN News Agency.

Observers see that the lack of confidence among the Iraqi factions was the main reason behind bringing Kurdish troops in Baghdad to protect the Kurdish leaders, officials, politicians and MPs in Baghdad.

Such move by Maliki was seen as an attempt to exploit the incident to embarrass his political opponents.

Editor: Yang Yi
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