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Sulaymanieh unrest claims 10th victim
Sun, 24 Apr 2011 03:42:38 GMT
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Iraqi Kurds protest to demand the ouster of the regional government and better basic services in the northern city of Sulaymanieh, February 19, 2011.
Another Kurdish protester has died of his fatal gunshot wounds, marking the 10th victim of the two-month unrest in Iraq's northern autonomous Kurdistan region.

Hardi Farukh, 28, surrendered on Saturday to a head injury he sustained earlier in the month, said the director of the emergency hospital in Sulaymanieh, AFP reported.

"Hardi Farukh, who was wounded by a bullet to the head during demonstrations on April 18 in Sulaymanieh, died this morning," Hawar Naqshabandi said.

Farukh, who worked in a publishing house, was the 10th person to die in the crackdown of anti-regime protests that has been raging in the northern Iraqi region since mid-February, he added.

The demonstrations in Sulaymanieh, inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, were initially demanding an end to graft, nepotism, and the monopoly of Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan on the region's politics.

The target of the uprisings has, however, shifted in recent weeks to demand the dissolution of the Kurdish regional government.

The change comes in the face of stepped-up security measures and harsher suppression of peaceful demonstrations that have continued despite a ban announced by Kurdish authorities on holding rallies.

On Saturday, hundreds of students staged a sit-in protest at Sulaymanieh University as international rights groups have criticized the Kurdish regime's use of violence against protesters.

Human Rights Watch has called on Kurd authorities to "end their widening crackdown on peaceful protests," and the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said it was "deeply shocked by a spate of arbitrary arrests."

Last Tuesday, at least 75 were injured in Iraq's Kurdistan after military forces attacked student protesters near Sulaymaniyah University.

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