ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The autonomous Kurdistan Region on Friday joined Baghdad in declaring a three-day mourning period in the country and called for the halt of Newroz celebrations in the region.
“We share our sorrow over the loss of dozens of citizens of the city of Mosul yesterday, who drowned in the Tigris River,” read the statement issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Council of Ministers.
“As soon as we heard the news, we directed all concerned health and relief authorities in the Kurdistan Region to help the survivors and the injured. We continue to monitor the situation as part of our national duty and based on brotherhood.”
It mentioned that the KRG is following in the declaration of a mourning period in Iraq and announced the suspension of all celebrations and official activities for Newroz.
On Thursday, a ferry capsized in the Tigris River in Mosul on the first day of Newroz.
The ferry was loaded three times over its capacity. “It can normally carry 50 people. There were 250 on board at the time of the incident,” the Civil Defense team said.
The boat sank as it was carrying people to a man-made tourist destination island resort on the Tigris River.
The latest data from Mosul authorities indicate that over 95 people had died, 55 were rescued, and dozens more remain missing.
Following the incident, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi arrived in Mosul and ordered an investigation into the incident, with at least nine workers operating the ferry arrested. He called on the investigative team to bring those “responsible for the tragedy to justice.”
Editing by Nadia Riva