Tuesday, 26 August 2008, 12:52 GMT
A massive demonstration against Iraqi forces in Khaneqin

Kurdish security forces inspect the scene of a suicide car bomb in Khanaqin, 90 miles (140 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, in Iraq Sunday, Aug. 10, 2008. AP Photo

VOI

Large Iraqi army forces entered Khaneqin district and set their checkpoints.

A massive demonstration will be staged on Tuesday against the entry of Iraqi security forces into Khaneqin district, the mayor of the district said on Monday, noting that the forces set up checkpoints throughout Khaneqin.

"Large Iraqi army force entered Khaneqin today and set up checkpoints," Mohamed Mulla Hassan told VOI.

"There are political reasons behind the entry of the forces because they entered in the pretext of hunting down gunmen in a region, which is considered one of the most stable regions in Iraq," Hassan added.

"Residents, local administration and Kurdish parties reject this interference and will announce that during the protest tomorrow," he also said.

Kurdish Peshmerga forces withdraw from Khaneqin on August 19, the Peshmerga brigade, comprising 4,000 troops, was located in Diyala to protect the Kurdish civilians in the district.

Diyala province, a restive part of Iraq outside the Kurdish autonomous zone but home to many Kurds.

Last July, thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police launched a major security operation dubbed as Bashaer al-Kheir (Promise of Good) in northeastern Diala province in the latest move by the government to assert its authority over militants.

Diala province extends to the northeast of Baghdad as far as the Iranian border. Its capital is Baaquba, 57 km northeast of Baghdad. It covers an area of 17,685 square kilometers (6,828 sq mi).

A large portion of the province is drained by the Diala River, a major tributary of the Tigris.

Because of its proximity to two major sources of water, Diala's main industry is agriculture, primarily dates grown in large Date Palm groves. It is also recognized as the orange capital of the Middle East.

In January 2008 Operation Phantom Phoenix was launched in an attempt to eradicate the remnants of al-Qaeda network following the Diala province campaign between 2006 and 2007.