Khanaqin: mother and son shot dead at home

Kirindi Square at the center of Khanaqin district, Diyala province, south east of Bagdhad.

By Layla Ahmed in Diyala

A woman and her son were shot dead Friday early in the morning by gunfire at home in Khanaqin district northeast of Baghdad, relative and security forces said.

The 54-year-old housewife and her 27-year-old son, a Peshmerga (Kurdish fighter) were shot dead in their home in Bakhtiari neighborhood of Khanaqin when the mother and son were alone at home.

The woman has two sons and her husband is dead. One of the sons was admitted to Khanaqin hospital with heart disease.

“I was with my aunt’s youngest son in the hospital. At 6 am, my cousin said he was going to call my aunt. When she picked up, she was shouting and crying then hang off so we left the hospital immediately and went home,” said Jabbar Yousef, nephew of the deceased woman.

"When we went home, we saw that they were both killed inside the house. They had five bullets. The house was all bloody. We alerted the police," he added.

"We don't know who did it. My aunt’s family had no problems with anyone," Yousef said.

He added that neighbors said they did not even hear gunshots. Khanaqin police rushed to the scene after being alerted.

On August 11, the bodies of a brother and sister were found dead at their home in Mazra'a neighborhood of Khanaqin, following few days of no communication, relatives said.

None of them was married and they lived together in the same house. Ikhlas Murad Aziz, 56, who had heart disease and diabetes was an English teacher, was looking after her brother Mahdi Murad Aziz, 45, who had Down syndrome.

According to a source at the Bakhtiari police station in Khanaqin, the mother and son were shot dead and their bodies were sent to the Baquba forensic medical examination.

"The statement of the boy who was in hospital has been taken and we are continuing to investigate to find the perpetrators of the incident," the source anonymously said.

There is no forensic physician in Khanaqin district, part of Diyala province, so death cases are 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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