ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Five members of a single family from Duhok’s district of Zakho drowned on Friday while picnicking near one of the tributaries of the Tigris River, close to their hometown.
The victims included the parents, two daughters, one of whom was nine-years-old, and a son, the Duhok Civil Defense department director, Bewar Adbul-Aziz, told Kurdistan 24.
So far, Abdul-Aziz added, locals who were close to the site of the incident have recovered the bodies of the mother, the son, and one of the daughters. He said that the deployed rescue teams are currently looking for the remaining two.
Abdul-Aziz explained, as per preliminary investigations, the drownings occurred after one of them fell into the river and the rest tried to follow and failed in their attempted rescues.
Due to its moderate climate and waterfront, the area serves as a refreshing resort destination for locals and residents of the surrounding region. Amid the increasing summer heat, people tend to go on picnics on the weekend.
All across the Kurdistan Region, there are many such sites with rivers or a large water basin, marking an especially attractive destination for tourists from neighbor countries, Iraqis, and locals alike.
Over the past few months, there have been several incidents of tourists drowning in the lakes and rivers of the Kurdistan Region, despite warnings and instructions advertised by the tourism board of the Kurdish autonomous region.
Editing by Nadia Riva