Iraq: Hundreds gather to mourn former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani

Hundreds gathered in the Iraqi Kurdistan city of Sulaymaniyah on Thursday to mourn the death of former Iraqi president Jamal Talabani. The mourning ceremony was held in front of a public park in the centre of the city where people gathered to express their grief and sorrow for the loss of Talabani who died on Tuesday in Germany aged 83. People held portraits of the former president, some crying... Еще. Ouf al-Rawi, one of the mourners, said: «Today, the Arab youth in al-Sulaymaniyah are holding a vigil to commemorate the late Mam Jalal Talabani, former President of Iraq. All the factions of the Arab population are here today; teachers, intellectuals, civil activists, they stand in silence to mourn him, in al-Sulaymaniyah. This vigil expresses the brotherhood and peace between the two sides, Arabs and Kurds.» Talabani was an Iraqi Kurdish politician who served as the sixth Iraqi President from 2005 to 2014. He founded the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in 1975 and became the first non-Arab president of Iraq two years after Saddam Hussein was ousted. Talabani stepped down two years after suffering a stroke that led him to seek medical treatment in Germany. His death comes less than a week after the Kurds of northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly for independence. The independence referendum drew strong criticism and opposition from Baghdad, Iran and Turkey.

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