Lahur Talabany, recently dismissed co-chair of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), condemned on Friday the “assassination” of a police commander close to him by security forces in Ranya city in Sulaimani province the previous day. He threatened that he could “open the doors of hell on our enemies,” in reference to his rivals in the party.
Sulaimani security forces said on Thursday that they had killed Murad Kani Kurdayi and two of his guards who allegedly confronted the force while they were trying to arrest Kurdayi, for reasons not yet known. A member of the security force was also killed in the incident.
Lahur Talabany, who still considers himself the co-chair of the party despite his dismissal from the party at the beginning of the month, condemned the incident in a video message on his Facebook page, warning that “we can set fire on the backs of the blood spillers who were behind the plan of martyring Murad Kani Kurdayi and his friends.”
Bafel Talabani, co-chair of the PUK, cut Lahur Talabany from the PUK’s halls of power in early July when he changed the head of the party’s intelligence agency and counter-terrorism units who were affiliated with Lahur Talabany, replacing them with people loyal to himself, and saying the shake-up was needed to combat corruption.
Lahur Talabany said in his Friday message that his “silence” about what has happened since July was “to protect the PUK, the prestige of its martyrs, and its political party leaders.” However, “this does not mean that we will continue this silence and accept our friends in the PUK to be brutally assassinated daily.”
“Up until now we have considered you as our brothers and friends, but unfortunately it seems that we were wrong. I want to assure you that we have the ability to open the doors of hell on our enemies and set all those involved in the scenarios and coup d’état on fire,” he added.
Tensions have been high in Sulaimani since July, with armed supporters of Lahur Talabany guarding his house. The PUK attempted to force him to leave the Kurdistan Region until after the October 10 Iraqi parliamentary election, but he refused.
Kurdayi’s Facebook page includes many photos of him with Lahur Talabany.
Kurdayi’s family said in a statement submitted to Rudaw on Friday that the killing of the head of Raparin police station’s legal office was a “terrorist and cowardly act,” claiming it was planned by the PUK affiliated military forces.
Different sources claim hundreds of family members have armed up to battle rival PUK factions if justice is not served for Murad Kani.