Two Iraqi tourists killed by roadside bomb in Zakho: Sources
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two Iraqi tourists who disappeared in a resort area of the Kurdistan Region’s Duhok province on Friday were later found dead, killed by what local authorities say was a roadside bomb, according to local sources who spoke to Kurdistan 24 on Monday.
The bodies of the two men, who had been visiting from Iraq’s nearby province of Nineveh, were discovered still inside a car that sustained damage by the impact of what appears to be a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) in the village of Banke, located in the Batifa subdistrict outside Zakho.
Yousif Omer (26) and Ahmed Shakir (40) are ethnic Arabs from Mosul who visited the area on vacation.
According to local sources, the bomb was planted by militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The footage is from the survelliance camera of the Iraqi border secuirty forces.
Batifa is one of the more popular tourist attractions in Duhok province, to which thousands visit its breathtaking waterfalls and natural wonders every year, mainly from Iraqi provinces, especially during the scorching summer months.
On Saturday, Kurdish Peshmerga forces deactivated an IED in the northeastern part of Erbil province. According to the Kurdish forces, their preliminary investigation suggests that the PKK was responsible for planting the potentially deadly explosive device.
The PKK has been locked in a decades-long conflict against Ankara over Kurdish rights in Turkey that has led to tens of thousands of deaths on both sides. The group is headquartered in the Kurdistan Region's Qandil Mountains, mostly in rural areas along the Turkish and Iranian borders.
The clashes have escalated in recent weeks, as have hostilities between the PKK and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Officials from both Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have repeatedly called on Turkey and the PKK to take their fight away from areas populated by civilians, thousands of whom have been displaced, suffered damage to their farms, livestock, or other property.
An earlier version of this report said that the tourists’ car was struck by a Turkish artillery shell.
Editing by John J. Catherine