Case of Kurdish lawmaker resolved through tribal reconciliation

A picture of Karim Shukur (Mulla Karim), a Kurdish member of Iraqi parliament, and the background is a video clip of last August fire exchange accident.

By Laila Ahmad

The case of the Kurdish member of the Iraqi parliament was resolved by tribal reconciliation, tough he and his party previously described the accident as an “assassination attempt.”

Two months and 10 days after an incident in which a young man was injured inside the building of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK Organization Center in Tuz Khurmatu district of Salahaddin province by the bodyguards of Karim Shukur, former member of the leadership council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK, the case was resolved on Friday, October 20, “by concluding a tribal reconciliation and requesting an apology,” according to Muhammad Ali Hussein, father of the young man who was injured in the accident.

“We ended the problem with a reconciliation session in order to preserve coexistence in Tuz Khurmatu,” Hussein told KirkukNow. “The district is no longer able to tolerate more conflicts. We announced reconciliation based on our sense of responsibility and so that the situation in the town does not become more complicated.”

We ended the problem with a reconciliation session in order to maintain coexistence in Tuz Khurmatu

“We are all Kurds. We decided to reconcile so that our enemies would not rejoice over us.... We are scheduled to appear in court within days to make a concession and close the case,” according to the father of the injured young man.

On August 10, two young men delivered a letter to Shukur as he was leaving the headquarters of the PUK Organizations Center in Tuz Khurmatou district. The letter was an invitation card to attend the opening ceremony of the office of a Turkmen representative in parliament in the Kurdish-majority Komari neighborhood in Tuz Khurmatou, which is supervised by the father of the injured young man.

After he read the letter, Shukur tore it up and then headed towards the two young men. Meanwhile, a person wearing a military uniform, who appeared to be a member of Shukur’s protection, punched one of the two young men, according to a video clip that was circulated the next day on social media.

A kind of confusion occurred and Shukur quickly returned into the building, while the person who had punched the young man raised a gun in the young man’s face.

In another part of the video clip, when the two young men return to their vehicle - the clip was filmed inside the PUK office - one of the two young men appears carrying a gun and raising it in the face of the security personnel. Meanwhile, he is hit by a bullet and falls to the ground, before he gets up and returns with the other young man to the vehicle and then they leave the place.

The young man was hit by a bullet in the chest and was immediately transferred to Tuz Khurmatu Hospital and later to Kirkuk.

Shukur’s media office stated in a brief statement published at the time about the incident, “We reassure dear citizens that Mullah Karim is safe and has survived the assassination attempt inside the Hamrin Organization Center.”

The official media of the PUK also described the incident as an “assassination attempt.”

The multi-ethnic district of Duz Khurmatu, located 70 kilometers south of Kirkuk and part of Salahaddin province, is the only disputed town of the province and one of the disputed territories between Erbil and Baghdad, home to 150,000 Turkmens, Kurds and Arabs.

The predominantly Sunni province of Salahaddin, about 135 kilometers north of the Iraqi capital, once home for Saddam Hussein, is under the control of Iraqi Security Forces ISF including the pro-Iran, Shia-led paramilitary forces known as al-Hashid al-Shabi, the Popular Mobilization Forces PMF.

Following the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Kurdish political parties, in particular the PUK had an upper hand in the area up to October 16, 2017 when the Iraqi Security Forces ISF with support of PMF took control of Tuz and the rest of the disputed territories which extends from Khanaqin, east of Baghdad on the borders with Iran up to Shingal (Sinjar) in Nineveh Province, in the far west on the borders with Syria.

We did not receive any money to conclude the reconciliation

Days after the incident, the person involved in the shooting, a member of lawmaker’s security team, was arrested and both sides of the case registered complaints against the other.

Muhammad Ali Hussein, the young man’s father, told KirkukNow, “We did not receive any money to conclude a reconciliation. They asked for an apology from me, my son, and my tribe, and we accepted their apology at the request of my tribe and the notables of the region. They expressed great remorse for what happened.”

"It is true that my son did not deserve what was done to him by Mullah Karim, but he insisted on reconciliation and greatly regretted what happened. In turn, we decided to put an end to the problem because it was actually harmful to both parties," he added.

Aso Muhammad, the uncle of the security guard involved in the incident, told KirkukNow, “My nephew remained in prison for 20 days and then was released on bail. We extended the hand of reconciliation and asked for forgiveness, and the case was resolved through tribal reconciliation.”

“Both parties stipulated that money or weapons not be mentioned in the incident.” A reconciliation session and we reconcile,” and he said, “Within days, we will go to court so that both sides can abandon the case.”

Muhammad Hussein, the father of the injured young man and a number of his relatives previously were affiliated to PUK but because of their disagreements, especially due to disputes within the PUK Hamrin Organizations Center in Tuz Khurmatu, they separated from the party and began a while ago seeking to form a regiment for the PMF in Tuz Khurmatu district from the Kurds, some of whom worked previously for the PUK.

KirkukNow report in 2019 indicated 200 houses and 100 shops and stores in the predominantly-Kurdish Komari (Republican) neighborhood of Tuz Khurmatu district were burned or looted, and 50 houses belonging to Kurdish officials, Peshmerga affiliates and volunteers were blown up as a result of the clashes between the ISF and the Kurdish Peshmerga in the midst of the events of October 16, 2017.

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