Erbil holds mourning for families after migrant boat tragedy off Italian coast

Erbil holds mourning for families after migrant boat tragedy off Italian coast

Shafaq News / On Wednesday, a mourning ceremony was held in Erbil for two families who lost several members in a migrant boat tragedy off the Italian coast the previous day.

Bakhtiar Ismail, a relative of one of the victims, told Shafaq News Agency, "The families left for Turkiye five months ago and had been living in Istanbul. They initially agreed with a smuggler to be transported to Europe by air, but the smuggler later informed them they would be transported by truck. Eventually, he told them they would be taken by boat across the Mediterranean Sea."

He added, "The families set off for Italy last Sunday, and we lost contact with them last Wednesday. We tried to reach the smugglers, but they eventually cut off all communications."

Ismail continued, "On Monday, we received the news of their drowning. Eight of our relatives were on the boat, and only a woman and two children survived. They are now in Italian hospitals in a severe psychological state."

Regarding how they confirmed the deaths of the others, Ismail explained, "The surviving woman from the two families is my cousin. She told us she saw her husband, children, sister, and her sister's husband drown before her eyes."

He pointed out, "The boat was only suitable for 20 people, but it was carrying 72 passengers. Some died of thirst."

Our correspondent reported that eight of the migrants were from Erbil, belonging to the two families, while 11 were from al-Sulaymaniyah, with several still missing.

Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has ordered an investigation into the incident and the repatriation of the victims' bodies.

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon