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Culture & Living, Iraq


Thousands of refugees from Syria are pouring over the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, the UN refugee agency says, BBC reported.

Up to 10,000 crossed at Peshkhabour on Saturday, adding to an earlier influx of 7,000 on Thursday.

The UN agencies, the Kurdish regional government and NGOs are struggling to cope, correspondents say.

The UN says the reasons are not fully clear, but there has been a sharp rise in clashes between Syrian Kurds and anti-government Islamist militants.


Head of the Kurdistan Autonomy of Iraq Massoud Barzani called on Ankara to normalize relations with Baghdad, the administration's official website reported.

"Turkey is an important country at the international level, and we hope that its relations with Iraq will be normalized soon," Barzani said.

According to the head of the Kurdish administration, at present there are a lot of problems in the region, but they should be solved peacefully.


Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called the Iraqis to national unity, Anadolu agency reported on Friday.

"Despite the difficult period for the country, Iraq achieved great successes and we are proud of it," al-Maliki said.

He said despite the Iraqis fight against each other, now all the parties are reconciled and Iraqi society is open to dialogue.

Terror attacks take place almost every day in Iraq in the recent few months. The number of those killed in September is more than 180 with nearly 700 injured as a result of terror attacks.


Former Vice President of Iraq Tariq al-Hashimi stated that country's future is in danger, Turkish Anadolu news agency reported.

"Iraq's future is in danger, and the political processes in the country can affect neighboring countries, particularly Turkey," al-Hashimi said.

He also stressed that the political disorders in Iraq could lead to inter-religious clashes.

A warrant for arrest of al-Hashemi was issued by the Iraqi authorities in December 2011. He was accused of terrorist activities.


An Iraqi judicial panel says that Tariq al-Hashemi, the country's Sunni vice-president, and his employees ran death squads that for years carried out deadly attacks on security officials and Shia Muslim pilgrims Al Jazeera reported

The nine-judge committee's findings, which are not legally binding, offered on Thursday the first independent assessment of a case that has touched off a political crisis along sectarian lines and brought the Iraqi government's work practically to a halt.


Iraqis were preparing for a mass protest on Friday in central Baghdad, demanding the removal of the government, DPA reported.

Key youth groups reached a consensus "about the key demand, which is unseating the government," the report Thursday quoted Omar Ismail, an activist and a co-organizer of the planned demonstration.

Frustrations have risen in the past few months over the government's performance. There have been sporadic protests in various cities criticizing the government for its perceived failure to provide jobs, tackle corruption and end an electricity shortage.


Hundreds of protesters gathered in the central Iraqi city of Hilla Friday demanding better services, after a deadline for improvements set by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ended.

Al-Maliki gave his cabinet a 100-day deadline to improve basic services after a series of anti-government protests in February, DPA reported.

Around 500 people gathered in front of the Hilla provincial council carrying banners that read "The government cannot keep its promises" and "People want reform."


Nearly two thirds of homes belonging to Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees that were occupied by squatters have been evacuated since mid-2008, a government official said on 9 January.