Panic and terror dominate Christians in certain areas of Kurdistan with the losses of millions of dollars Thousands of chaotic people in Zakho, Sumeal and Shieoz attacked Christian properties
Many chaotic people in the city of Zakho attacked yesterday, after Friday prayer, shops selling liquors, clubs, motels offering alcoholic drinks and a message centre in the region. The attacks caused huge material losses estimated by more than 5 million dollars. During which, the panic and terror dominated among the Christian families living in the region. There was an almost total absence of police and Kurdish security forces.
The events did not stop at this point, but the violence and vandalism expanded to reach the town of Sumeal and Shieoz village. Thousands of chaotic people attacked places for manufacture and selling alcoholic beverages and the assaults caused the loss of nearly 2 million dollars.
The reason behind these hostility protests and its spread to several regions was reported by Kurdish Press as a result of the speech of one of the Imams during Friday prayers. His talks about taboos and his vitriolic criticism for the presence of liquor stores in the region irritated the worshipers who came angry carried in their hands sticks to crack and break everything.
Dendar William Salioa, an official of the local committee from the Assyrian Democratic Movement in the town of Sumeal, said more than 3 thousand people attacked the town and burned Afs Company for import and export of alcoholic beverages in the area, in addition to burning 7 other shops selling such beverages.
Salioa added in his talk to the site of Ankawa.com that he personally and before the raging of the events contacted the security authorities in Duhok to provide the necessary protection. He added the protection forces did not arrive until 2 hours later and after the vandals’ wreaked havoc in the area.
Salioa said we knew of the events that occurred in Zakho and we expected the chaos will soon reach Sumeal, so I called the security authorities in the city of Duhok to send us protection forces. He added the protection forces of 300 persons from Zervan arrived 2 hours later after the chaos dominated the area, and pointing out to the distance of the 15 kilometers only between Duhok and Zakho.
Salioa said, at the beginning the number of the chaotic protestors was not exceeding dozens, but they gradually increased to become more than 3 thousand after they were joined by others from Almansoria and Zakho, most of them came by cars full of young people.
Salioa added the police security forces those existed in the region did not interfere to prevent the sabotage of the chaotic people, but committed to the sideline. He said also, that he contacted the Governor of Sumeal who promised him to send his police forces to protect the 200 Christian families in the area; he praised the governor for his act.
Salioa confirmed that there were no casualties because no confrontation occurred between the demonstrators and the security forces in the region. He said the chaotic people were chanting the slogan God is Great…God is great, shouting with joy and directing abusive words to the Christians, especially to the priests, while some of them were firing shots randomly.
In Shieoz village that inhabited by 180 Christian families, thousands of chaotic people attacked Torburk Company for import and export of alcoholic beverages. They burned the company completely causing material losses of more than one million dollars.
In the city of Duhok, chaotic people burned completely on Friday night the family club Nohadra.
Till the preparation of this report and according to Salioa, the atmosphere of fear and terror, tension and anxiety, are still among the Christian families in Zakho, Sumeal, the village of Shieoz and in the city of Duhok. The Christian there fear from further developments of unexpected events.
Views of what happened in Zakho
A reliable source (refused to declare his name fearing for his life) reported to the site of Ankawa.com, said the attackers had gone first to the place of message that administrated by East Asian people, then attacked the local market in Alabasia neighborhood which inhabited predominantly by Christian families and burned hair salons, cafeterias and hotels all owned by Christian people.
The source added, and then the criminals went to the Christian neighborhood and made the same as they did in Alabasia. He continued, some shooting happened when they attacked the Panorama Cafeteria located near Hazel police station and led them to retreat.
The source said that Ashore Hotel, Zakho Tourism Hotel, Khabor Hotel and Summit Casino were all set on fire. He confirmed that the goal of the attackers was not to attack some sort of shops or other services as the media want to reflect, but the act was directed to everything represent properties of Christians and Yazidis (religious minority living in Iraq).
The source confirmed that nobody of the attackers touch the hair salons owned by Muslim people and they did not affected by any harm, despite their location next to the salons owned by Christians. Also, a barber shop for men set on fire only because it’s owned by Christian person. This is in addition to the cafeterias those do not sell any type of alcoholic beverages were also burned. He added, there is no reason to do that except because they are owned by Christian people.
The source said, he knew a person that the attackers burned his restaurant, shop selling alcoholic beverages and cafeteria, they did not stop at that point, but they went to his apartment and set it on fire despite the presence of his children inside.