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Sulaymanieh Scene of Cheers, Protests

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, March 9 (ICANA) - Iraqi Kurds celebrate the anniversary of their liberation from Saddam Hussein's rule while protests against the regional government continue in Iraq's Kurdistan.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011 12:01:56 PM
Sulaymanieh Scene of Cheers, Protests

On Monday, the streets surrounding the headquarters of the ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Sulaymanieh was the scene of flag-waving people marking the 20th anniversary of the Kurdish uprising against Iraq's executed dictator Saddam Hussein, a Press TV correspondent reported.

“This day is very important for the people of Sulaymanieh,” PUK spokesman, Azad Jondyani, said on the occasion of March 7.

“Since this day until now, the Ba'ath regime has been removed from this region and there is freedom. This is important for all Kurdish people,” he pointed out.

Many people in the northern Iraqi city cheered in anticipation of the arrival of Iraqi president and PUK leader, Jalal Talabani, who pointed out the significance of the day of uprising while addressing the crowd.

The PUK leader's speech came as anti-government protests continued on the 16th consecutive day, with demonstrators calling for stronger actions, greater government reform and an end to corruption.

Talabani, however, said the ruling parties are not afraid of protests and that it is everyone's right to express their demands to their government, noting that the PUK had submitted 17 points to parliament in line with the demonstrators' demands.

Meanwhile, hundreds of PUK supporters hung the ruling party's flags from their cars and marched through the streets of Sulaymanieh in support of the leaders who freed them from Saddam Hussein's cruel dictatorship.

Having a mixed air of celebration and continued protests, many are concerned that Sulaymanieh -- located 260 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Baghdad -- is becoming divided. Extra security forces have been put on standby in case of conflict.

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