A member of the Kurdish security near the multi-ethnic town of Khurmatu. File photo: Rudaw
KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region – A Turkmen party official who was shot by a security force member at a checkpoint in Tuz Khurmatu on Friday has passed away in hospital in Kirkuk. The party said they will not “let go” of her death.
Hayat Safadin, 22, was travelling on a bus with more than a dozen other party members to attend their congress in Erbil when they passed through a checkpoint manned by Kurdish security forces, Asayesh, in Tuz Khurmatu, about 80 kilometres south of Kirkuk.
She was the head of the Turkmen Reform Party’s office in Balaz Rud, a district in Diyala Province.
Her party enjoys good relations with Kurdish parties, especially with the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
The Khurmatu Asayesh, under control of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), said on Friday that the bus did not follow orders at the checkpoint.
“The bus passengers were 16 and did not have any problem,” Suhel Najm, head of the PUK Khurmatu Asayesh, told Rudaw on Friday.
“But when they passed the checkpoint they took a photograph of the checkpoint and we shouted for the bus to stop, but with no success. That is why one of our members opened fire and caused this incident,” Najm added.
The security official explained they have taken extra security measures at checkpoints after receiving intelligence that ISIS militants may try to pass through the security checks disguised in civilian clothes.
He said the person who opened fire was arrested and interrogation of him continues.
“The Khurmatu Asayesh will interrogate the Asayesh member, who will receive the harshest penalty as allowed by the law,” Najm promised following the incident.
The deputy head of the Turkmen party Muna Qawachi, also a member of the Kurdish parliament, told Rudaw that they will pursue the case.
“We will not let go of her blood and will take the case to the court,” Qawachi said.