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Kurdish Man Dies in Failed Attempt to Rescue Drowning Woman in Erbil

Kurdish Man Dies in Failed Attempt to Rescue Drowning Woman in Erbil

Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 - 06:30
A Kurdish flag hangs in the Erbil International Airport, in Iraq, September 27, 2017. (AP/Khalid Mohammed)
Erbil - Ihsan Aziz
On the third day of Eid al-Fitr, Iraqi woman Zahra Hashim, 36, was resting on a chair near the Choman river in the Balakayati area, in Rwanduz town northeast of Erbil, enjoying the beauty of the village’s nature as she got dragged by the water stream in no time.

Despite her screams and cries, none of her three children or family members who were with her made a move to rescue Zahra.

However, Jabar Osman Said, 19, a young Kurdish man who was on an overlooking hill, jumped and tried to rescue the woman, who clung to his arm with great force, but the water flow was stronger than him, and both the young man and the woman were swept away from the village by one kilometer, to end up drowning together in the river.

Sarkar Othman, 13, Jabar’s younger brother, confirmed that his brother was close to the scene, when he suddenly heard the scream of the drowning woman.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat that she grabbed his brother's arm strongly and dragged him to the depth.

“My brother could not resist the strength of the lady and the power of the current, which dragged them together to the depth away from the village.”

Ali Balaki, the young man's uncle, said that the villagers will rush to rescue anyone drowning in that river. One of his nephews also drowned last year while rescuing a man dragged by the river.

"Our family is always keen to provide help for people, regardless of their identity. This is part of our customs and traditions in this region.”

The Kurdistan Tourism Authority called on tourists from Iraq's central and southern governorates to fully comply with the guidelines of the Tourism and Civil Defense Authority and to exercise extreme caution in the mountainous tourist areas and to avoid the dangerous spots.

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