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AFP
October 18, 2020

Protesters torch Kurd party offices in Baghdad

World

AFP
October 18, 2020

BAGHDAD: Supporters of Hashed al-Shaabi, an Iraqi paramilitary network dominated by Iran-backed factions, Saturday burned down the main Kurdish party’s headquarters in Baghdad after criticism from a Kurdish ex-minister.

Hundreds of Hashed demonstrators swept past a security detail and stormed into the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which runs the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, and torched them.

Protesters burned Kurdish flags while others carried posters of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and his Iraqi lieutenant Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport last January.

The Hashed paramilitaries were formed in 2014 from mostly armed groups and volunteers to fight the Islamic State jihadist group. Hashed has since been formally integrated into Iraq’s armed forces and has representation in parliament, and it has spawned several ideologically affiliated armed groups.