Ako Abdulrehman with his BMW car in the background. Rudaw photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - A Kurdish man with a bullet proof BMW saved the lives of 70 people who were wounded in heavy clashes against ISIS militants in Kirkuk over the weekend.
“In Kirkuk, together with a friend of mine, we were able to rush more than 70 wounded to the hospital,” said Ako Abdulrehman, the owner of the BMW who saved many civilians and volunteer fighters wounded in exchanges of fire in the city.
“My aim was to prevent any captives, wounded or martyrs falling into ISIS’ hands,” he explained, adding that he was asked to help by Abdullah Bor, a Peshmerga commander on the Kirkuk frontline.
“What really made me sad,” he said, was that “many of the wounded, we reached them too late and they bled to death.”
His car is now covered with damage from bullets that hit the vehicle. The BMW Cihan company in Baghdad has contacted him and offered to repair the car, he said. And Kurdish figures have “pledged to award me.”
“There are marks from 50 to 60 bullets on the body of my car and many of them hit the front and the windshield of the car," he explained.
He added: “The ISIS bullets were coming in my direction. I saw death with my own eyes. Yet, I did not stop what I was doing. I could not leave the wounded in limbo. The only thing I cared about was getting the wounded into my car and driving them to the hospital.”
An estimated 100 ISIS militants staged an attack on the city Friday. Clashes continued through Saturday, and on Sunday security forces shot one suspected militant while a second detonated a suicide belt.