Iraq Says Some Kurds Are Coming Home
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Some Kurdish refugees are returning to their homes in northern Iraq following a government offer of amnesty, Iraqi reports said today.
The Iraqi News Agency quoted Mohammed Rostom, governor of Dohuk province, as saying refugees are going back to the city of Dohuk and surrounding villages along the Turkish border as peace and stability return.
Rostom told the agency restaurants and shops were reopening and government crews were clearing debris from streets. The agency quoted returning refugees as blaming rebel ″mobs″ for driving them from their homes.
The Iraqi agency also said there was an influx of Kurds from the mountains bordering Iran into the Erbil region.
The agency did not say how many refugees were returning.
The reports could not be verified idependently.
Associated Press reporters near the Turkish and Iranian borders say tens of thousands of Kurds still are trying to leave Iraq. Millions of Iraqi Kurds fled their homes in fear of revenge by loyalist forces after the Kurdish rebellion against Saddam Hussein began to lose ground.
Associated Press Reporter Alex Efty reported Sunday from Iraq that rebel fighters east of Suleimaniyah said they repulsed a fourth effort that day to take the Kurdish mountain stronghold in the area. Rebel leader Jalal Talabani claimed the attacks were meant to cut off the Kurds’ escape routes into Iran.
Iraq maintains it plans no revenge against Kurds who did not take part in the revolt and has offered an amnesty to those who return.
Iraqi officials were quoted as saying Sunday after a meeting with visiting U.N. envoy Eric Suy that the government would cooperate with U.N. efforts to aid the Kurds.