Sister and brother found dead in Khanaqin

Diyala, End of 2020: Alwand River in Khanaqin district. Amir Khanaqini

By Laila Ahmed

The bodies of a sister and brother who lived together alone in a house in Khanaqin, northeast of Baghdad, found dead while the health and security officials say both died three days ago.

Khanaqin security agencies have sent the bodies to the forensic medical examination in Baquba, center of Diyala province, to determine how they died.

The bodies of Ikhlas Murad Aziz, 56, and Mahdi Murad Aziz, 45, were found in their home in Mazra'a neighborhood on Thursday afternoon after their brother paid them a visit following few days of no communication, said Diman Barfan, a niece from Germany.

None of them was married and they lived together in the same house. Mahdi has Down syndrome and his sister Ikhlas, who had heart problem and diabetes and was an English teacher, was looking after her brother.

“My aunt Ikhlas was not online for five days to talk to us. When a cousin of mine went to their house, he called and said they would not open the door. The neighbors also said they had not seen him for several days,” Barfan told KirkukNow over the phone.

Aunt Ikhlas hadn't been online for five days to talk

“I told him to go inside through the wall. Soon he called crying and said they were both dead each in a room,” Diman said. "We were shocked why they both died together," she wondered.

They immediately alerted the security agencies and picked up their bodies and took them to Khanaqin General Hospital.

Mahdi and Ikhlas have two sisters and four brothers. Their elder brother lives in Khanaqin. The other three live in Germany. One of their sisters lives in Baghdad and the other also lives in Germany.

"The bodies of the brothers were brought to the hospital at 3 pm on Thursday. The boy had Down syndrome and his sister had two strokes and diabetes," a source in Khanaqin General Hospital anonymously told KirkukNow.

"We prepared the bodies and sent them to Baquba forensic medicine to determine the cause of death.”

We sent the bodies to Baquba forensic medicine to determine the cause of death

"The bodies were each in a room and there were no signs of torture on their bodies," Diyar Shawkat, Khanaqin police chief said.

"According to doctors, the brothers and sisters have been dead for more than three days, but we are waiting for the forensic report to confirm how they died," he said.

 There is no forensic physician in Khanaqin district, which belongs to Diyala province, and in many cases the body is sent to Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, to confirm the death cause.

Khanaqin District, home to 90,000 Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens, Sunnis and Shias, is part of Diyala province and is one of the disputed territories between the Iraqi Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG.

The disputed territories extend from Khanaqin, on the border with Iran, to the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk up to Shingal (Sinjar), home to the Ezidi community, in Mosul, in the far west, on Iraq-Syria borders.

Most of the disputed territories were under control of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces up to October 2017, when the Iraqi Security Forces ISF took over control of these territories following the defeat of the Islamic State ISIS.

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