BAGHDAD (BNO NEWS) — An Iraqi civilian was killed on Saturday when an Iranian sniper opened fire from across the border, according to the Aswat al-Iraq news agency. Few details were immediately released.
The report, citing sources, said the shooting happened along the border line near the town of Haj Omran in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan, resulting in the death of an Iraqi civilian. It was not immediately clear why the sniper fired on the civilian, who was said to be a shepherd.
At least four civilians, including Saturday’s casualty, have been killed since mid-July as a result of Iranian attacks on northern Iraq, according to a Human Rights Watch report which was released on Friday. It added that an unknown number of people were injured while hundreds of families have been forced to flee the area as a result of the attacks, which target PJAK militants.
Farmers from the border regions told Human Rights Watch in early August that Iranian shelling had damaged their homes and that they saw Iranian soldiers cross the border into Iraq and kill farmers’ livestock. The attacks on civilians and their property that they described were similar to attacks documented by Human Rights Watch in June 2010.
“It has been more than six years that Iran has been shelling our area, but this year, it was unbelievable,” 70-year-old Fatima Mahmoud, who fled with her family, told Human Rights Watch. “I don’t know why Iran is shelling our village – we have never seen any PJAK members at all. I have never seen any [PJAK] members in our village.”
Iran regularly shells areas in Iraq to target the separatist Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), which is fighting to establish semiautonomous regional entities or Kurdish federal states in Iran, Turkey and Syria. The group has been accused of carrying out a number of attacks in those countries.
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011