Two Iraqi tourists were killed in an alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) IED or Turkish air or artillery strike near the village of Banke, Batifa sub-district on August 20th, 2021, according to local sources. Their bodies were missing until Kurdish and Iraqi security forces found them on August 22nd.
The security source told Shafaq News Agency, “Two tourists from Mosul entered, two days ago, the prohibited area in the village of Banka in Bativa district, affiliated to Zakho district, north of Dohuk,” noting that “a Turkish artillery shell fell near their car, leaving them dead.” The source added, “The two tourists are Ahmed Shukr, born in 1981, and Youssef Omar, born in 1995,” explaining that “the security forces in Zakho are trying to enter the prohibited area to evacuate the bodies of the tourists.”
Kurdistan 24 correspondent Islam Yousef said: “The bodies of the two men, who had been visiting from Iraq’s nearby province of Nineveh, were discovered still inside a car that sustained damage by the impact of what appears to be a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) in the village of Banke, located in the Batifa subdistrict outside Zakho.” The source quoted local authorities who said the men had been killed by a roadside bomb. The source also quoted anonymous local sources as saying the bomb had been planted by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Bas News reported: “Head of Batifa administration, Farhad Mahmoud, told BasNews that the two men visited Zakho countryside from Mosul on Friday when they were caught in the middle of a fierce conflict between the Turkish Army and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). He said the two men were hit in their personal vehicle in the vicinity of Banke village. “Investigations show that they were hit by a Turkish artillery fire,” he added. “We are now awaiting their conclusion of the forensic report before handing the bodies over to the families.”
The director of Batova district told Rudaw Media Network that “the Turkish bombing of the areas where PKK fighters are located, in the village of Bandro, of Batufa district, led to the killing of Iraqi tourists.” Rudaw reported: “The bodies of two tourists killed on Friday in Turkish artillery fire in northern Duhok province were retrieved by Iraqi border guards on Sunday afternoon and returned to their families. The two, Ahmed Shukir, 40, and Yousif Ammar, 26, are from Mosul had seemingly unknowingly entered a conflict zone when they visited the village of Bankie, in the Batifa sub-district where Turkish forces have clashed with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).” Rudaw quoted an unarmed eyewitness as saying the men had “died after an artillery shell hit their car”.
@BarzanSadiq posted a video alleging to show the moment the car was targeted and said “an IED blast planted by PKK killed the two Iraqi tourists”.
Medyanews quoted the Mesopotamia News Agency as saying “the two lost their lives when their vehicle was bombarded by a drone belonging to the TAF”.
The majority of the sources said the men had been killed by a Turkish artillery strike.
The local time of the incident is unknown.