Demonstrators storm the Kurdistan parliament, angry at Kurdish president Masoud Barzani’s decision to resign following an independence referendum that triggered a regional crisis. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Demonstrators, some carrying clubs, stormed the Iraqi Kurdistan parliament building in Erbil on Sunday (October 29), angry at the decision of Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to step down from the presidency of the region. Gunshots were heard as protesters who claimed they were "Peshmerga" Kurdish fighters forced their way inside the building, witnesses said. Earlier Barzani informed the region's parliament in a letter that he would give up his position as president on Nov. 1, after an independence referendum he championed backfired and triggered a regional crisis. The region's parliament then met in the Kurdish capital Erbil to discuss the letter. A majority of 70 Kurdish MPs voted for Barzani's request and 23 opposed it, Kurdish TV channels Rudaw and Kurdistan 24 said. The Kurdish region, which had enjoyed unprecedented autonomy for years, has been in turmoil since the independence referendum a month ago prompted military and economic retaliation from Iraq's central government in Baghdad.