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Explosions at arms depot dent peshmerga's confidence in leadership

Recent explosions at several weapons and ammunition depots have deepened mistrust between rank-and-file peshmerga forces and their leadership in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
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Abdullah was driving back to Sulaimaniyah from Erbil in the evening of July 2 to avoid the sweltering heat wave that had brought life to standstill during the day. As he approached the hills of Tasluja to the west of the city just after 9:30, he saw a fire raging. Soon he heard deafening explosions that sent what appeared to be missiles and mortar shells into the air, lighting up the sky and sending Tasluja's bewildered residents running for their lives. Abdullah, not his real name, knew that a weapons and ammunition depot was on fire.

Two days earlier there had been another terrifying explosion at a peshmerga ammunition depot in Bahrka just outside Erbil. The authorities ruled out foul play and blamed the heat wave and the peshmerga's lack of expertise in storing explosives and arms. No one bought the explanation, including Abdullah.

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