Germany's lower house of parliament recognised on Thursday the 2014 massacre of Yazidis by Islamic State group jihadists in Iraq as a "genocide", and called for measures to assist the besieged minority.In a move hailed by Yazidi community representatives, deputies in the Bundestag unanimously passed the motion by the three parliamentary groups in Germany's ruling centre-left-led coalition and conservative MPs.Thursday's vote followed similar moves by countries including Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands.
One person was killed and dozens injured Thursday when a stampede broke out outside a football stadium in Iraq hours before the Gulf Cup final, officials said.Long banned from hosting international football matches, war-torn Iraq had been counting on the Gulf Cup to burnish its image but it had already been forced to apologise for organisational lapses.Thousands of fans, many without tickets, had gathered outside the 65,000-seater stadium in Iraq's main southern city of Basra since dawn in the hope of watching the final between Iraq and Oman.
The attack came after sunset in the quiet Iraqi village of Albu Bali when Islamic State group gunmen drove into town and unleashed fire with automatic rifles."I heard the shots, I went out and I saw my nephew lying on the ground," recalled Ali Menwar about the deadly violence that shattered the local calm on December 19.The group of Sunni Muslim extremists "arrived at about 8:15 pm and started firing randomly", said another local from the mainly Shiite village, Abbas Mazhar Hussein, 34.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani defended the open-ended presence of US and other foreign troops in his country, in an interview published Sunday."We think that we need the foreign forces," Sudani told The Wall Street Journal in his first US interview since taking office in October. US and NATO forces have been training Iraqi soldiers on how to fight the Islamic State group."Elimination of ISIS needs some more time," Sudani added.
Iraq's local currency has been on a two-month roller coaster ride following a tightening of procedures for international transfers, with some blaming Washington for the dinar's woes.While the official exchange rate has been fixed at 1,470 Iraqi dinars against the dollar, the currency was trading at up to 1,600 to the greenback on local markets from mid-November, before settling at about 1,570 dinars, according to state media.
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