Militants planning to take over mini stadium in Kirkuk arrested

Kirkuk, June 20- A friendly game in Qoria mini stadium. KirkukNow

By KirkukNow

The administration of the northern oil rich city of Kirkuk declared it has arrested a group of armed people in civil uniform trying to take over a mini stadium in a neighborhood and sell it as plots for housing.

On July 7th, the gunmen asked the players to leave the basic stadium where the residents of Sarchinar neighborhood play football for free.

“The gunmen in ordinary dress broke the pole of power transmission and asked to leave the stadium,” said Mohammed Omar, a resident of the neighborhood, few days following the incident.

“They want the young players to stop coming to the stadium they plan to divide into housing plots and sell it.”

Administration of Kirkuk said in a statement, a copy received by KirkukNow, it has arrested violators whom will be sent to court.

“Such acts are never allowed as the stadium is a basic right for the young players,” yet no further details about the gunmen and their affiliation.

The northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk, located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, is an ethnically mixed province for 1.2 million Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and Turkmen. It has long been at the center of disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil.

The joint operation command of Kirkuk is an umbrella for the troops of Iraqi army, local and federal police, Brigade 61 of Special Forces along with Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF.

The residents were planning to lead a protest against the violent act yet Kirkuk administration denied permission to any public demonstrations.

Omar said Kirkuk administration informed us that protests are not allowed without permission. “We wait for the reaction of the authorities about this act then we will declare our stand.

Locals blame the authorities for poor utilities, unemployment, corruption and instability.

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