Sulaimani Asayish claims arrest of suspected assassin of PKK member


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SULAIMANI — The Sulaimani Asayish announced on Saturday (September 18) that the security forces arrested a suspected assassin of a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who was killed in Sulaimani city on Friday.

The announcement was immediately dismissed by a media outlet supportive of the PKK as a conflation with a man suspected in a separate incident that occurred on Thursday.

Yasin Bulut, who went by the nom de guerre Shukri Sarhad and was a member of the PKK’s Committee of Solidarity with Martyrs' Families, was gunned down in Sulaimani’s Chwarchra neighborhood on Friday morning near a local police station.

The PKK quickly accused Turkish intelligence agents of responsibility.

The handling of the investigation into the assassination is a major test for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which is embroiled in a bitter leadership struggle, on whether it can keep a lid on the security situation in its political heartland ahead of Iraqi parliamentary elections.

After the killing, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani called for an urgent investigation.

Talabani is a senior PUK member and a key driver, along with his brother PUK Co-President Bafel Talabani, of the effort to oust the other co-president, Lahur Sheikh Jangi.

On Saturday, the Asayish said that it had arrested the alleged killer, who it said was responsible for a number of crimes in the governorate over the past week. It said that the arrest was carried out in cooperation with intelligence and counterterrorism forces.

Rojnews, an outlet supportive of the PUK, responded by saying that the man who was arrested was responsible for a different attack, in which a man named Farhad Barish was wounded on Thursday.

It further alleged that Bulut’s assassination was planned and carried out by a group, rather than one individual, citing reports that there were four people in the car suspected of transporting the triggerman.

(NRT Digital Media)