Kurds in Iraq say committed to investigating alleged abuses

October 11, 2016 11:39 AM EDT

A house in Zumar village is marked with the word "Kurd", reserving it for a Kurdish resident, Iraq September 2, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Kalin


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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq said on Tuesday it is committed to investigating claims of abuses in areas occupied by both Kurds and Arabs, in response to an Oct. 10 report by Reuters.

The story (www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/mideast-crisis-kurds-land/) detailed the case of a Kurd who said he had occupied a house formerly owned by an Arab family in the town of Zumar, after Kurdish Peshmerga fighters dislodged Islamic State militants from the region.

The report also said that some Arabs had been stopped from returning to their homes in the town near Mosul.

In a statement, the KRG said there were a number of reasons why some Arabs had not returned. These included concerns about unexploded bombs left by Islamic State. Some had also been kept out because they were suspected members of the militant group.

The government repeated its past statements that it did not have a policy of pushing Arabs out of areas that Kurdish forces have retaken from Islamic State.

"The Kurdistan Region authorities have actively worked to stop acts of violence inflicted by certain individuals," the statement from the KRG said. "The KRG is wholly committed to strengthening its governance practices including its observation of international human rights norms and standards."

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Simon Robinson)



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