Security head for Kurdistan-Turkey border crossing assassinated in Duhok province
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An official from the security (Asayish) for the Sarzeri border crossing between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey, died on Thursday from wounds sustained while being attacked by unknown gunmen in the northern province of Dohuk.
Witnesses and local officials told a Kurdistan 24 correspondent on the scene afterward that Ghazi Salih Alikhan, the director of security at Sarzeri, was struck by sniper shots and died briefly after being rushed to Zakho district hospital for treatment.
The incident took place on Thursday afternoon while Alikhan was visiting relatives in the village of Begdawda, located in Kani-Masi.
“So far the gunmen have not been identified and an investigation has been launched to find the perpetrators,” Kani-Masi Subdistrict Head Sarbast Akreye told Kurdistan 24.
The Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) later confirmed in a statement that the assassination took place at 5:30 p.m. “at the hands of terrorists who have been threatening him for a while.”
“We condemn this cowardly attack in the strongest terms and extend our condolences to the respected family and friends of Alikhan,” it continued, vowing that “the criminals will pay for their crime.”
Kani Masi has recently witnessed repeated airstrikes and armed clashes between the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), headquartered in rural, mountainous areas of the Kurdistan Region.
The PKK, which has been fighting a decades-long insurgency with Ankara over Kurdish rights and self-rule, is thought to have a strong presence in the area, near hundreds of villages mainly located near the Turkish border.
Sarzeri is an official border gate located in Duhok province’s Amadiya (Amedi) district which over 1,000 people normally cross on a daily basis.
Editing by John J. Catherine