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Friday , January 24 2020

At least 15 stabbed in Baghdad – Iraq warns of infiltrators

Anti-government protesters take cover during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, as security forces open fire on Dec 4. (AP)

BAGHDAD, Dec 5, (Agencies): Anti-government protesters say at least 15 people have suffered stab wounds in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of their movement, after political parties and Iran-backed militia groups briefly joined them, raising fears of infiltration by authorities. Lawmakers convened a parliament session Thursday to amend laws governing compensation to include victims of military operations, according to the session agenda seen by The Associated Press.

There were over a dozen knife attacks by the late afternoon when protesters aligned with political parties and Iran-backed militias withdrew from Tahrir, three demonstrators and a witness said. There were no fatalities.

Another protester who requested anonymity said the attacks, “might have been perpetrated by the parties or someone who wants to ignite problems with the parties.” Iraqi officials have repeatedly warned of infiltrators within the peaceful protesters seeking to coopt the movement. Three Peshmerga personnel were killed Thursday while two others were injured in an attack carried out by so-called Islamic State (IS) operatives east of Kirkuk governorate.

According to the Peshmerga forces, the attack was repelled successfully. It warning that such assaults might reoccur if necessary security precaution were not taken. This second attack by IS on Peshmerga posts in less than a week. Iraq announced in 2017 that IS was completely defeated in the country; however, it warned that there are still some sleeper cells operating in the country.

The government in Kurdistan of Iraq continued to issue warnings in regards to the remnants of IS in the country. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has given a strong message of support to the UN Special Envoy in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, particularly regarding efforts to end the current crisis in Iraq and promote democratic and inclusive dialogue there, Le Drian’s press office said.

The French Foreign Minister spoke by phone with the UN Envoy late Tuesday and Le Drian “reiterated the full support of France for the action of the Special Representative” and her team

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