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Iraqi Kurdistan Students Boycott University

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TEHRAN, April 25 (ICANA) – Hospitals have recorded the 10th fatality in the Sulaymaniyeh district of Iraqi Kurdistan, resulting from the anti-government protests that have been going on for over two months.
Monday, April 25, 2011 9:35:56 PM
Iraqi Kurdistan Students Boycott University

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, is one half of the ruling coalition of the Kurdistan region, and Sulaymaniyah is its traditional stronghold.

But as various events led to a upsurge in tensions over the last week, the PUK sent in many hundreds of military men into the city - particularly around the University of Sulaymaniyah.

As a result, students of the university announced a boycott of their classes, while gathering signatures for the disbandment of the military from their school.

The government maintains that the increase in military forces is their duty and responsibility, to ensure the safety and security of the public.

Numerous residents of Sulaymaniyah have reported to journalists that among the military forces being sent to the city are Arab soldiers, who don't speak Kurdish. This has caused particular anger, as Arab soldiers are associated by locals with the atrocities committed in the area by Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party.

For the sixth time in as many weeks, the opposition parties again boycotted a specially called parliamentary session to deal with the ongoing crisis.

Observers say the protesting students represent but a fraction of Iraqi Kurdish society - but they have the support of all the major opposition parties. That support however, amounts to significantly less than 50% of the parliament - so it is unclear how they aim to force change.

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