Iraqi police fatally shot a Kurdish politician in one of Iraq's most volatile provinces Saturday, a killing that underlines the growing tensions between Kurds and Arabs in parts of the north.
Even as Iraq has seen a sharp decline in Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence, hostility is deepening between Kurds and Arabs in Iraq's north as Kurdish authorities begin to exert more authority beyond their autonomous region.
Riya Qahtan, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, was killed Saturday morning in Jalula, a small town 80 miles northeast of Baghdad in the ethnically mixed province of Diyala, said Jabar Yawer, a spokesman for the Kurdish military, or peshmerga. Jalula has a mostly Sunni Arab population with a substantial Kurdish minority.
Also Saturday, the U.S. military arrested five suspected Iranian-backed Shiite extremists accused in recent rocket attacks on Iraqi and U.S. forces.
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The extremists are suspected of links to the Hezbollah Brigades, a Shiite extremist group that the U.S. believes is backed by Iran.