ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Saturday expressed concerns over protests that erupted in Sheladize and resulted in human casualties, stating a “disruptive hand” was behind it.
Hundreds of people in the Kurdistan Region’s Sheladize town on Saturday protested Turkey’s ongoing bombardment of their villages after recent Turkish bombings left at least four civilians dead.
Demonstrators in Sheladize, located in the Duhok province’s Amedi region, took to the streets, holding up signs and shouting slogans calling on the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) to “take their fight elsewhere.”
Protestors urged both Turkey and the PKK to stop using villages as their battleground.
Protests quickly turned violent with some people burning Turkish military vehicles at a base in Duhok. Two protesters were killed and 16 more were wounded, according to the health directorate in Sheladize.
“We express our concerns regarding today’s [Saturday] events in Sheladize that resulted in the loss of life and injuries. We extend our condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims,” read a statement issued by the KRG.
“A disruptive hand is behind these events. Relevant authorities are conducting a thorough investigation and the perpetrators will face justice.”
On Wednesday, Turkish warplanes heavily bombarded the Kurdistan Region’s Amedi border areas, killing four civilians. Two other people are believed to still be missing.
The Turkish shelling was meant to target PKK fighters in the region, a group that has been fighting a decades-long insurgency with Ankara over Kurdish rights and self-rule.
The PKK is thought to have fighters near hundreds of villages inside the Kurdistan Region, mainly in the mountainous areas near the Turkish border.
Hundreds of villages along the Turkish-Kurdistan border have been evacuated due to the ongoing violence.
Over the past years, the KRG has repeatedly called on the PKK to stop using the region as a launchpad for its attacks.
As part of the conflict, the Turkish army has crossed its southern border several times in the past year, in some places, up 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) deep into the Kurdistan Region.
Editing by Nadia Riva