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Iraqi Kurdistan authorities decry protest suppression

In clear contrast to its past treatment of Kurdish demonstrators, the Kurdistan Regional Government denounces the use of lethal force against Iraqi protesters.

A deadly attack on Iraqi protesters prompted Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Nechirvan Barzani to reiterate his condemnation of the use of violence against demonstrators, despite a history of Kurdish authorities using the same tactics locally.

Followers of populist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, known as Sadrists or Blue Hats, opened fire Feb. 5 on a protesters' camp in the southern city of Najaf, killing at least eight people and wounding at least 20 more. But medical personnel and humanitarians pegged the losses much higher: 23 dead and 197 wounded, some severely.

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