Iraq arrests Kurdish politician with PKK links

September 8th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Iraq arrests Kurdish politician with PKK links

Media: AFP
Byline: N/A
Date: 08 September 2006

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq, Sept 8, 2006 (AFP) - The head of an Iraqi Kurdish party
with close links to Turkey's PKK guerrillas has been arrested, a security
official said Friday, a month after Iraq promised Turkey it would crack down
on the rebels.

"On Thursday, security forces arrested Faik Mohammed Kolbi, the leader of
the Kurdish Democratic Solution," an Iraqi officer said in Sulaimaniyah, a
majority Kurdish Iraqi city 300 kilometres (185 miles) north of Baghdad.

The KDS is an Iraqi ally of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK),
which has been fighting the Turkish army in Kurdish majority areas of
southeastern Turkey since 1984 in a war which has claimed 37,000 lives.

Last month, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki promised Ankara that the PKK
would no longer be allowed to operate in Iraq after allegations that it had
mounted renewed cross-border raids.

Kolbi was arrested as a suspect in the February 2005 murder of a PKK
dissident, Kamal Shahin, the Iraqi security official said.

Supporters dismissed the explanation and argued that Kolbi's detention was a
sop to Turkey from Iraqi authorities eager to show that they are serious in
their crackdown.

Kolbi is a former surgeon who has been a leading Kurdish militant since 1980
and was elected to the parliament of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region in
1992. He has led the KDS since 2001.

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