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Kurdish govt imprisons German Yazidi leader

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Kurdish govt imprisons German Yazidi leader
A Yezidi refugee carries her child towards the Turkish border with Iraq, August 2014. Photo: DPA
08:58 CEST+02:00
Kurdish government forces in Iraq are reported to have arrested Yazidi militia leader and German citizen Hayder Shesho in a sign of growing tension within the anti-Isis alliance.

The arrest took place on Sunday evening after Kurdish security personnel turned up at Shesho's house, reported Bild.

Shesho, the leader of the “Shingal Defence Unit” (HPS) – which counts some 3,000 men among its ranks – had rallied Yazidi resistance against terrorist group Islamic State, after the Islamist extremists had attacked the Yazidi region in north west Iraq in August.

The group was founded in August by Shesho's uncle Qasim, a gardener from Bad Oeynhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Hayder Shesho had harshly criticized the Kurdish government in recent weeks for its treatment of the Yazidi, saying their fighters had left his people undefended as Isis advanced into the Sinjar mountains last summer.

HPS fighters were narrowly able to hold back Isis, although hundreds of civilians are reported to have died or been sold into slavery at the hands of the fundamentalists.

Shesho had complained that the Kurds were failing to provide his troops with weapons.

The Daily Telegraph reported that he had been seeking to acquire weapons from the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilisation Units, a Shiite militia. This decision is said to have proved unpopular among the Kurdish leadership.

Spiegel reported that members of HPS demanded that the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) government release their leader.

SEE ALSO: Six hurt in Muslim-Yezidi mass brawl

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