Shiite militia breaks its promises to the Kurds
In December a Kurdish Islamic cleric was shot dead in Khurmatoo town. His funeral ceremony turned into a large demonstration of thousands of locals against the Shiite militia groups in the town, including Badr and Khorasani groups. Demonstrators demanded the militias to leave the town, and the suspect of the assassination of the cleric be arrested.
Demonstrators blocked the Kirkuk-Khurmatoo main road and as a vehicle belonging to the Shiite militants approached, clashes started and the vehicle was burned.
Following these events, the local authorities and officials met with the commanders of the Shiite militia called Hashd Shaabi (The Popular Gathering), who are of Iranian origin. The parties agreed that the Shiite gunmen do not enter the town with guns, and the police and security forces control the security of the town.
However, the militia broke their promises very early and continued to kidnap and kill locals as well as detonating and destroying houses of displaced families around Khurmatoo.
These actions have led to the death and injury of tens of civilians.
In a more recent incident, Khanaqeen security forces arrested 16 Shiite gunmen from Khorasani Group on January 6, 2015. The gunmen had two kidnapped people and were trying to take them to Jalawla to kill them, accusing them of having links to the Islamic State (ISIS).
After investigation the Shiite gunmen admitted that they have been kidnapping and killing people in Khurmatoo. Moreover, they admitted that they have received a large amount of money in return for freeing one of the hostages.
These members of Khorasani Group, affiliated to the Iranian Quds Army, are now under arrest in Suleimaniya and the hostages have been freed.
ON Thursday, January 22nd, three civilians were shot dead in Khurmatoo within six hours. Reports claim that the victims were all Sunni IDPs from nearby villages.
Suspects have reportedly used silent guns and unregistered vehicles.
On the same day, Shalal Abdul, Mayor of Khurmatoo issued an order to put a number of security checkpoints inside the town, and arrested two motorcyclists from the Badr Army, led by Hadi al Ameri, ex- Iraqi transportation minister. Later on, and as a result of discussions between a security officer and Badr Army base guards, shootings happen and security forces arrested three of the base guards, while the rest escaped.
According to statistics available at the Khurmatoo Security, during the last three months of 2014, some 40 civilians have been kidnapped then found dead around Khurmatoo.
Town’s security officials say all of the 40 people were Sunni Arabs and Turkmen.
Early September last year thousands of Shiite militants within the Hashd Shaabi Forces, which was established to fight ISIS, relocated to Khurmatoo. They are still based inside and around the town and make trouble for the security forces and people of the area on a daily basis. They are also reported to orchestrate violence