Devastating fire claims 300 sheep in Sulaimani villages

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — A devastating fire ravaged large swathes of the Hasili, Malwan, and Tapakal villages in Sulaimani’s Sharzaur district on Sunday night, marking the first major fire incident in these areas.

Preliminary estimates suggest the damage could reach up to 200 million Iraqi dinars (approximately $137,000).

Local residents recount harrowing tales of loss and survival. Khalil Mohammed, an 80-year-old livestock farmer from Hasili village, mourns the loss of 150 sheep within an hour. “There were 300 sheep, some belonging to neighboring families,” Mohammed lamented.

Eyewitnesses describe the rapid spread of the fire, which engulfed flocks of sheep and forced residents to flee for their lives. Akar Ali, a shepherd, narrowly escaped death by diving into a nearby pond as flames closed in on him.

“The fire rapidly spread and soon surrounded our flock. Later, I managed to save myself by jumping into a nearby pond that was 20-30 meters deep,” Ali recounted.

The impact of the blaze extends beyond livestock loss. Many families face extensive damage, with one elderly woman mourning the loss of two decades of hard work. “Over the past two years, I have endured significant losses in my livestock,” she shared, recounting a previous wolf attack that claimed the lives of many sheep.

While the exact cause of the fire remains unknown, authorities in the Zarayan sub-district have made several arrests in connection with the incident.

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