Update: Iraqi officials condemn burning Kurdish party's HQ in Baghdad, demand probe

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-18 05:58:30|Editor: huaxia

BAGHDAD, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi top officials condemned on Saturday the attack and burning of the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the Iraqi capital Baghdad and demanded an investigation into the incident.

A statement by the media office of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said that al-Kadhimi, also Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi forces, held an emergency meeting for the Ministerial Council of the National Security, to discuss the attack on the KDP headquarters by demonstrators who resorted to violence and set fire to the building.

The council condemned the attack and decided to launch an investigation to disclose the details of the incident and to assess the performance of a security force tasked with protecting the Kurdish headquarters, the statement said.

The council also decided to hunt down the demonstrators involved in the attack, after the security forces already captured 15 of them, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Presidency issued a statement condemning the attack and stressing the importance of launching an urgent investigation into the incident to hold the attackers accountable.

The presidency also called on all parties "to exercise restraint and to advance the country's interests over any other considerations," according to the statement.

On the Kurdish side, regional Kurdistan President Nechirvan Barzani condemned in a statement the attack on the KDP headquarters in Baghdad, saying it "attacked the peaceful coexistence and undermined societal and political peace and is inconsistent with the principles of the constitution, democracy, and human rights."

For its part, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) posted a statement on its official Twitter page, expressing its concern on the attack on KDP headquarters in Baghdad and confirming that Iraq needs stability and dialogue to solve its problems.

Also in the day, the Hashd Shaabi said in a statement that "we understand the feelings of Iraqis who support the Hashd Shaabi forces, and we support the protest and peaceful demonstration as stipulated in the constitution, but we reject the use of violence and sabotage in any form."

"We call on everyone to preserve the prestige of the state, societal peace, and respect for security men in this sensitive circumstance," according to the Hashd Shaabi statement.

All the comments were responding to a demonstration in the morning by dozens of Hashd Shabi supporters that stormed and burned the KDP headquarters in the Karrada district in central Baghdad.

The protestors chanted slogans against Hoshyar Zebari, a prominent Kurdish official and former Iraqi foreign minister, who demanded an end to the presence of Hashd Shaabi in the Green Zone in central Baghdad in a TV interview, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.

Some demonstrators stormed the headquarters, destroyed certain things inside, and set fire to the building, the source said.

Civil defense teams and fire engines rushed to the site and managed to extinguish the fire, he said, adding that there is no casualty in the incident.

A few days ago, Hoshyar Zebari said in a TV interview that the rocket attack on Erbil late in September was due to the close relations of the Kurdish region with the United States and because it houses U.S. military bases.

Moreover, Zebari demanded to end the presence of "Hashd militias" in the Green Zone, where the main Iraqi government offices and some foreign embassies are located. Enditem