Hundreds protest killing of journalist in Baghdad

Baghdad, March 23: Hundreds of angry demonstrators rallied in here Sunday in protest the killing of a journalist by a Kurdish securiy officer.

They demanded the withdrawal of the presidential Kurdish security brigade, better known as Peshmerga, from the Iraqi capital.

Journalist Mohammed Bdiewi, head of the Free Iraq Radio station and a media teacher at Mustansriyah University, was shot dead in Baghdad’s central district of Karrada Saturday, after he had a dispute with soldiers guarding a presidential site belonging to Iraq’s Kurdish President Jalal Talabani, Xinhua reported.

Teachers and media students of Mustansriyah University rallied with hundreds of civilians near the university in eastern Baghdad and chanted slogans against the presence of Peshmerga brigade in the capital.

The Kurdish Peshmerga brigade is responsible for the security of the Kurdish offices in Baghdad as well as the parliament compound in the area which houses some of the Iraqi offices and the US embassy.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Saturday ordered the arrest of the officer who shot Bdiewi dead.

However, a Kurdish officer from the presidential brigade told local media that the presidency condemns such incidents and would immediately hand over the culprit, but the incident was politicized with the aim of evicting the presidential brigade from Baghdad.