Story of shootout that killed grandmother

June 18, 2018 at 5:47 pm

Halawa Nasradin, 65 years old, with his oldest son, Jumaa Abdulkarim. Photo: KirkukNow exclusive

Halawa Nasradin, 65 years old, with his oldest son, Jumaa Abdulkarim. Photo: KirkukNow exclusive

Soran Muhammad – KirkukNow

Nazdar could hardly grasp the moment when a heavy machine gun bullet (DShK) smashed the windscreen of the car, whizzed around her head. She turned her head to the back seat amid the scream of her husband and cry of her children.

“When I turned back, my mother’s brain was all over the back seat, and my daughter, Chia, was soaked in blood,” Nazdar Abdulkarim told KirkukNow, when she was still traumatised from the incident.

 

It was Wednesday, 13 June at 9 PM, when Nazdar and her family approached Shoraw bridge. Suddenly, a shootout erupted in front of the Anti-terrorism headquarters, resulted in the death of a 65-year-old woman and wounding many others.

The woman was Nazdar’s mother. She was on the road to visit a relative with her daughter and the family, and later to the market for buying Eid al-Fitr necessities.

Halawa Nasradin Saadoun was born in 1953. She was married since 1969, but later, after having seven sons and four daughters, her husband died.

Kirkuk, June 2018, The place where Halawa Nasradin was shot dead in a car. Photo: KirkukNow

Kirkuk, June 2018, The place where Halawa Nasradin was shot dead in a car. Photo: KirkukNow

“We were eating dinner, and later we said let’s go and visit my sister (from Shoraw to Rahimawa). My husband, a child of ours and I were sitting in the front seats. My mother and two of my children were in the back seats. At the end of Shoraw bridge, a huge sound snapped,” Nazdar said.

The bridge is looking over the headquarter of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, now replaced by the forces of Iraqi Anti-terrorism agency. A shootout followed the ‘huge snap’, and some cars halt or move backwards immediately. However, one bullet manages to hit the radiator of Amir Karim’s car, leaving them in the shootout.

 

Nazdar said, “Bullets were raining all over our heads. A DShK bullet came through the windscreen, below the rear-view mirror. I noticed the whizzing and passing of the bullet, but my children started screaming and crying.”

The bullet later hit Nazdar’s mother, killing her immediately.

Kirkuk, June 2018, The main headquarter of Iraq’s Anti-terrorism forces in Kirkuk’s Shoraw neighbourhood. Photo: KirkukNow

Kirkuk, June 2018, The main headquarter of Iraq’s Anti-terrorism forces in Kirkuk’s Shoraw neighbourhood. Photo: KirkukNow

To avoid further casualties, her husband runs with his hands up in the air, urging Anti-terrorism forces not shoot anymore as he has a family with him.

The shootout erupted after an unidentified car threw a grenade into the midst of the Anti-terrorism headquarter, and they responded.

Chief of Rahimawa Police, Colonel Nawzad Star (the incident was in their remit), told KirkukNow, “The Anti-terrorism forces were shooting randomly and widely to prevent any attack on them, killing a woman and wounding three other people.”

The responsible unidentified car, however, managed to flee to an unknown place, according to the police.

 

Chia, the elder daughter of Nazdar, is only 12. She was seated in the back seat when the incident unfolded. She told KirkukNow, “They opened fire against us on the road. We were frightened a lot. We screamed as much as we could. We were scared, really very much. The blood suddenly started flowing from my grandmother’s forehead.”

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK] accuses Iraqi Anti-terrorism forces of the murder of the woman and the injury of some other civilians, due to the random shooting. They call for punishing those who were involved, after investigating the incident.

Kirkuk, June 2018, The funeral of Halawa Nasradin in Kirkuk’s Shoraw neighbourhood. Photo: KirkukNow

Kirkuk, June 2018, The funeral of Halawa Nasradin in Kirkuk’s Shoraw neighbourhood. Photo: KirkukNow

The Anti-terrorism forces, however, reject that the woman was killed by them.

The commander of Second Operations Command of Anti-terrorism forces in Kirkuk, major-general Maan Saadi, said in a statement that a car attacked their troops with a hand grenade on the Kirkuk-Erbil road, wounding three of their officers. The attackers later fled, while they were covering their car with another car while shooting at their forces.

According to the commander, the bullets coming from the other car caused the deaths and wounds. The relatives of the deceased have already filed a lawsuit against the Anti-terrorism forces at a police station and a court, asking the authorities for recourse and punishment for the perpetrators.

 

Jumaa Abdulkarim, the son of the deceased, told KirkukNow, “When a huge blast was heard at the end of Shoraw bridge, a black hummer of Anti-terrorism forces open fire in a corner of their headquarter, at our brother-in-law’s car. The shootout was [as random] as throwing water around yourself. Thus a DShK bullet hit my mother’s head.”

According to KirkukNow investigations, 20 violent incidents have happened in a week, some blasts and armed attacks included.

Halawa Nasradin was the mother of seven sons and four daughters.

Halawa Nasradin was the mother of seven sons and four daughters.

The funeral of Halaw is ongoing still in the Shoraw neighbourhood, where her daughter, Nazdar, was still sobbing and crying, “My mom is a martyr. Have you ever seen shooting an elderly woman with a DShK?!”

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