A Kurdish journalist (Saman Abdulla) was killed in a car show.
There has been an intense anti-Kurdish campaign in Kirkuk in the last couple of weeks. Kurdish journalists had been killed or received death threats, suicide bombings against police forces and Kurdish neighbourboods are also on the increase.
The Kirkuk council is in a deadlock as the Turkmen and Arab groups are refusing to participate in the council in an attempt to delay the formation of the council. Once the council is formed, one of its main priorities will be the return of the refugees to Kirkuk.
Unfortunately the 6 Arab members representing the Arab settlers community in Kirkuk and the 9 nationalist Turkmen members are boyocotting to attend the Kirkuk council meetings. This is an obvious sign that there are groups which do not respect the results of the democratic elections of 30th January.
A Kurdistani-lead list of Kurds, Chaldo-Assyrians, Turkmens, Arabs called "Brotherhood List" won 26 of the seats out of 41.
The representatives of the Arab settlers (not the original Arabs in Kirkuk) and the Turkmen Front are finding excuses to delay the formation of the council after 3 months of the elections.
The Turkmen and Arab and ChaldoAssyrian members of the "Brotherhood List" are also not happy about the behaviour of the Arab settlers and the Turkmen Front members. Using Kurdish language was one of the excuses to not attend the meetings, despite that according to Iraqi laws Kurdish is a legal and official language.
"Council member and lawyer Almas Fadhil, a Turkoman member of the Kurdish list, said that the use of Kurdish was not intended as a provocation, but rather "because it is an official language and we want the people of Kirkuk to get used to using it". " [Source]
Legally, the Brotherhood List can form the council on its own because of having a majority of 26 seats out of 41. But the "Brotherhood List" wants to form a multi-party council.
Here are sum-up of the current anti-Kurdish campaign in Kirkuk.New threats to Kurdish media workers in Kirkuk only days after assassination of Kurdish journalist.
Kirkuk - South Kurdistan (KurdishMedia.com) 20 April 2005: Terrorists have served death threats to Kurdish media workers in Kirkuk. The threats were delivered only a couple of days after the cold-blooded assassination of Saman Abdullah, a young employee of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan-owned KurdSat TV channel in Kirkuk.
The Mafia style killing of Saman Abdullah sent shock waves not only among media workers but also among the wider Kurdish population in Kirkuk. Masked gunmen stormed the office of Al-Pasha car show office, opened fire and killed the journalist in front of the eyes of the car show workers and customers. [Source]
Arab settlers form 7 militia groups to fight Kurds. [Arabic source] The militia is recruiting Arab youth from the families who were given incentives to move to Kirkuk during Saddam's regime and now are occupying others houses. The militias are led by Arab Front in Kirkuk which calls Kirkuk an "Arabic city".
Kurdish journalists killed in Kirkuk [ Source] On 14 April 2005, two journalists from the television station Al-Hurriya were killed in suicide bombings while on their way to an assignment in Baghdad, reported the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Al-Hurriya is owned by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a political party headed by Talabani.
Kirkuk Police : 30 Killed in Kirkuk in the last week , majority are Kurds. [Kurdish Source]