2,000 Kurdish fighters deployed in restive Iraq province

SULAIMANIYAH - More than 2,000 Kurdish fighters are being deployed in restive Diyala province to support US and Iraqi forces fighting insurgents, a top Kurdish security official said Wednesday.

"Four regiments of 560 peshmerga fighters will be dispatched to Baquba in the next few days to assist US and Iraqi forces," said Brigadier General Jabbar Yawar, spokesman for Kurdish peshmerga force.

He said the fighters will be largely deployed north of Baquba where there is a significant population of Kurdish Shiites, especially in towns such as Mandeli and Khamkin.

On Wednesday, five Kurdish Shiite policemen were killed in Mandeli when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the office of the town's police chief.

The deployment of peshmergas in Baquba is the first such mission for the fighters outside the northern Kurdish regions of Iraq where they manage the security.

06/13/2007 15:52 GMT

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