ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A landmine explosion on Saturday killed one Iranian Kurd (Rojhilati) and injured three at the border between Iran and Kurdistan Region, a rights group reported.
The casualties are individuals known as Kulbars, people who make their living smuggling small amounts of goods across the border.
Though illegal according to Iranian laws, it is a local practice that has long since been accepted as normal in the economically-undeveloped areas where many residents depend on smuggling as their livelihood.
The landmine detonated near the border district of Penjwen in the Kurdistan Region. It resulted in the immediate death of a Kulbar by the name of Naser Sideeq and the injury of three others by the names of Iqbal Ahmed, Ibrahim Mohammed, and Mansour Majid, according to Kurdish-rights group Hengaw.
The injured are now in a medical center in Penjwen closely monitored by doctors.
According to locals, Iran has placed mines in the border areas as part of the regime’s crackdown on the practice by Kurds in the region. However, remnants from the Iraq-Iran war still pose a risk to civilians in those areas.
Iranian border guards also regularly shoot crossing Kulbars and have killed 18 in 2018 alone.
Iranian laws dictate that border guards can fire their weapon only if they believe the trespasser is armed and dangerous and just after observing the following procedures: first, giving an oral warning; second, firing into the air; and third, if they must open fire, targeting the lower body.
Editing by Nadia Riva