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India strongly condemns killing of tourists in Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqis look around at a mountain tourist spot which was hit with artillery bombardment in the Zakho district village of Parakh in the north of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on July 22, 2022.

Iraqis look around at a mountain tourist spot which was hit with artillery bombardment in the Zakho district village of Parakh in the north of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on July 22, 2022. | Photo Credit: AFP

India on Monday "strongly" condemned the killing of nine civilians, including children, in the Dohuk Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan bordering Turkey. The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement described the July 20 incident, which Baghdad blamed on Turkish forces, as a "clear violation" of Iraq's sovereignty.

Dohuk is famous for its archaeological remains and recently hit the headlines after an ancient civilisation belonging to the 3,400-year-old Mittani era was revealed in the Tigris riverbed because of a draught.

"India expresses its deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the dastardly attack, and wishes the injured a speedy recovery," said the MEA in the statement. Indian officials also visited the Embassy of Iraq and conveyed the condolence personally.

The killing took place in the Zakho district of Dohuk after shells allegedly fired by the Turkish forces hit a group of visiting tourists. The incident killed at least nine people and injured 23. Turkey has denied the involvement of its military forces in the attack and expressed "deep sorrow" over the incident.

"We invite Iraqi government officials not to make statements under the influence of the rhetoric and propaganda of the treacherous terrorist organization and to cooperate in bringing the real perpetrators of this tragic incident into light," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, hinting that Iraq is favouring the Kurdish group — Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been waging a campaign against Ankara for a free Kurdish nation.

The region of Dohuk has many archaeological remains dating back to the pre-Christian era and new discoveries were made possible in recent years because of the declining water level of the Tigris. The recent findings in the area included ancient clay tablets that have turned the region into a top attraction for tourists. According to certain historical traditions, the Mittanis — often described as "mysterious" — were related to the ancient Indians.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2022 11:16:09 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-strongly-condemns-killing-of-tourists-in-iraqi-kurdistan/article65683012.ece