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One year on, armed Kurdish party continues to accuse Iran for deadly twin attacks

By Rudaw 22/12/2017
Video: First anniversary of the deadly twin attacks that killed 7 people on December 20, 2016 in Koya, east of Erbil.
KOYA, Kurdistan Region – One year on, no one has been convicted for the deadly twin attacks which targeted the headquarters of a Kurdish party opposed to Iran in Koya, east of Erbil.

The attack killed five members of the Iranian Democratic Party, also known HDK, and two members of the KRG’s security forces on December 20.

The Kurdistan Region at the time condemned the attack, called it an act of terror, and promised to bring those responsible to justice.

The party then and now blames the Iranian government for the attack. Iran never confirmed, nor denied the accusation.

“When we assess the attack, the one who benefits from this act of terror is only the Islamic Republic [of Iran],” Omar Baleki told Rudaw on the first anniversary of the incident, otherwise called the Yalda night attack.

The attack happened on the occasion of Yalda, which is the longest night of the year.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the attack, but they have never confessed that they played a role.

Ayad Kakei, a lawyer working on behalf of the victims of the attack, claimed that the court has documented the transfer of materials used in the bombing from Iran into the Kurdistan Region.

He said that Kurdish authorities cannot arrest those accused of the attack who are now in Iran, and that they cannot ask some of the people in Iran to appear before Kurdish courts as witnesses as witnesses.

A court in Erbil initially opened an investigation into the incident. A court in Koya is now tasked with the investigation.

The PDK, an armed group opposed to Iran, has its headquarters based in Koya. it is, however, less active than its offshoot, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan or PDKI.

The twin bombings took place only minutes apart as party members were marking the birthday of their late leader Abdulrahman Ghassemloo who was assassinated in Vienna, Austria, in 1989. An Austrian court has since officially accused Iranian agents of the killing which had long-lasting impact on HDK's structures and its armed struggle for self-rule against the Islamic Republic.

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