Clashes erupt in Kurdistan; protestors killed

Hundreds of protestors clashed with security forces after a smaller group stormed the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Slêmanî (Suleimaniya) today. Once inside KDP headquarters they destroyed furniture and computers. Witnesses said that security forces opened fire to disperse the crowd. Reports are varied and changing often, but CNN reported 9 dead and 47 injured. Other reports suggest only two have been killed. AKNews says 5 killed, 9 wounded.

Thousand of protestors chanted 'Government resign!', 'Work for the unemployed!', and 'The corrupt must face justice!'

Demonstrators are said to be angry about government corruption, the quality of basic services and unemployment. Tensions began in late January when Gorran’s leader, Nawshirwan Mustafa, called on the current government to step down. Gorran spokesperson Mohammed Tawfiq Rahim said at the time, ‘Waves of protest are resonating across the world. If the KDP and PUK don’t reform, that could happen here as well.’

A local police and hospital official both said two people were killed in the incident, and the medical official said 47 people were injured. Both the officials said the deaths and injuries were the result of shootings. Neither wanted to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The two protesters killed were men aged 18 and 25.

An Associated Press reporter on the scene saw one teenager shot in the head and being carried away by policemen on the street who were trying to help the protesters.

In one tweet ‘GorranGuy’ who is a medical doctor in Slêmanî, pleads for blood to treat the wounded: ‘i am a doctor at Tawarreka we need O-/O+ for some of the wounded.’ He said they had run out and there were many wounded, some of whom were in need of surgery.

Retaliation attacks are being reported in Erbil (Hewlêr), the region’s capital, where Gorran Headquarters and Gorran-owned KNN TV station offices have been attacked and burned. Lvin Magazine reports that several other Gorran offices have been attacked in the city. A Gorran office in Duhok has also been attacked and looted.

A curfew is now in place from 7pm to 7am.


UPDATES: Please see the many updates in the comments section sent in by NC


11 thoughts on “Clashes erupt in Kurdistan; protestors killed

  1. For several days now, Goran has been fueling the locals to go to the streets against the main parties, and waves of teenagers responded today by attacking the KDP HQ in Silemani. and the guards responded with brute force.

    A very unfortunate incident which could lead to a lot of chaos in the coming days.

    This is a video of the havoc before the fatalities occurred:

  2. Pingback: 9 killed in Iraqi Kurdish protests - Political Forum

  3. Los del PDK se han vengado quemando la sede de Goran in Erbil. Con esta mentalidad tribal no vamos a ningún lado. No tomaron lección del la guerra civil del 1996.

    Waht a shame !!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Sorry for posting the same vid. When I posted the video it was not added in the article.

    Here are the info available; The name of the young lad in red whom was shot fatally is (Rezhwan Ali), It is said he was 14.
    There is already a facebook page called (We are all Rezhwan Ali) (

    It is reported that Goran base in (Soran Town) was attacked and burned as well, making it third after Arbil and Duhok.

  5. – Tonight, all movements have been restricted except for those that have plane tickets and have to go to airport or those that have just come to the city from the airport, also reporters with proper identifications and badges are allowed to roam.

    – Despite the curfew, there are still protesters all over the place.

    – According to Hawlati, 1 dead, 57 wounded, including 3 journalists

    – A gruesome photo of (Rezhwan Ali), whom was shot fatally in the head, please take pre-caution;

  6. NC, thanks for the updates. I was adding things after I had posted it, so we probably put the video up at the same time. Things happened very quickly. Hard to keep up with the info at times. KB

  7. Update;

    – KDP blames the PUK for not taking security measures when the protest took place, and waves of special forces known as (Zeravani) have been sent from Hawler to Silemani.

    – Based on witnesses, Hawlati reported that the forces of PUK and KDP started fighting each other near Bazian town, which is the gateway to Silemani, it seems like this recent incident has put some tension between the political parties as KDP sends army and PUK refuses to grant them entrance into Silemani.

    – Protest still continues as protesters demand KDP to hand over those who were captured by KDP security forces, especially those that are wounded in order to get immediate treatment.

    – Report from Al-jazeera about the protest;

    – Some photos of the killed teen, (Rezhwan Ali), with a photo showing the killer hitting Rezhwan with the back of his gun and fatally wounding him.

  8. Updates:

    – A new Facebook page was created by the name of (In Silemani, power belongs to the people). It contains photos and videos about the protest.

    – A gruesome and heart-breaking video which shows a very Nervous Rezhwan only seconds before his death. Beware, sensitive material;

    – Washington Post reports two have died ( But Lvin reports that doctors have been warned not to give the correct figure of the dead, and it is estimated that close to ten people have died.

    – Tensions increases, DPK blames PUK for not providing security and protecting its HQ in the city and have sent over 100 armed vehicles to Silemani. Meanwhile, some known figures in Silemany have resorted to the U.S consulate and some other international organizations to meddle in this issue so that Silemany will not be the center of a civil war.
    On the other hand, Goran Movement declared that it has prepared itself to counter any move made by the DPK by using the support it gets from the people.

  9. Latest and last update from me:

    – A very urgent meeting among some of the highest PUK officials was just held in Silemani to discuss and decide whether the DPK forces should be given entry into the city or not. It seems like all the massive DPK forces have reached Silemani and are now in the outskirts of the city awaiting allowance into the city….

    From me, good luck and good night.

  10. Kurdish people shouldnt behave like that, its not the way to solve the problems. what the world is going to say now? that Kurdish people behave like arabs. if only i could do something when i will go there. but who is going listen to me? nobody.

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