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Turkmen protestors denounce 'electoral fraud' in disputed Iraq oil city
BAGHDAD, Feb 13 (AFP) - Members of Iraq's Turkmen minority demonstrated in central Baghdad Sunday to protest alleged electoral fraud in the disputed northern oil city of Kirkuk during last month's historic election.
Around 150 demonstrators crossed the Tigris river and gathered at one of the entrances to the fortified Green Zone, home to the offices of the electoral commmission.
"We want reparation for electoral violations in Turkmen areas," read one banner carried by demonstrators, who rallied just hours before the results of the January 30 vote were due to be announced.
"There were violations in Kirkuk where ballot boxes were stolen," said demonstrator Nawal Mohammed.
Hundreds of Turkmen and Arabs held a similar protest in Kirkuk on Friday condemning alleged fraud and calling for a re-run of the election there.
Iraq's Turkmen say they account for 13 percent of the population of 27 million, but the most recent census dating from 1977 puts the proportion at just two percent.
Final results from the election are expected to show a decisive advance for Iraq's Kurds who want to retake control of Kirkuk after it was Arabised by the regime of former president Saddam Hussein.