Kirkuk Administration to Investigate Khan Qirdar Fire

The main gate of Khan Qirdar after controlling the fire that damaged dozens of shops and stores, Kirkuk, May 19, 2024. KirkukNow

By KirkukNow in Kirkuk

The Kirkuk Governorate administration decided to form a committee to investigate the circumstances of the fire that broke out in Khan Qirdar shops and stores in the center of Kirkuk, after doubts raised by those affected by the incident.

The fire in Khan Kirdar bazaar at the old city of Kirkuk broke out around 3:30 a.m. today, Sunday.

According to KirkukNow's observations, the fire affected 14 shops and 37 stores, most of them clothing stores, out of a total of 160 shops and stores.

The owner of one of the damaged stores, who requested to remain anonymous, told KirkukNow, “We suspect that the fire was intentional,” noting that the ventilation section in the roof of the bazaar was broken, as he claimed, and that the stores burned together.

(KirkukNow) was unable to obtain statements from the relevant authorities in Kirkuk to verify the store owner’s statements, while the Civil Defense Directorate in Iraq published the news that the fire had been brought under control without mentioning the causes of the accident and the results of the initial investigations.

However, the Security Committee and the Crisis Cell in the Kirkuk administration held a meeting today, headed by the acting governor of Kirkuk, Rakan al-Jubouri, and a number of security officials and department heads, to discuss the Khan Qirdar fire incident and form an investigation committee.

xan qirdar kirkuk 5.2024 (5)
The establishment of the Khan Qirdar bazaar dates back to 1883, Kirkuk, May 19, 2024. KirkukNow

The northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk, located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, is an ethnically mixed province for 1,7 million Kurds, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and Turkmen. It has long been at the center of disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil.

According to a statement by the Kirkuk administration, in addition to forming a committee to conduct an “urgent” investigation and “careful field” follow-up regarding the reasons, calling on the federal government for fair treatment with the shop owners and compensate them.

Under the Iraqi Penal Code, anyone who intentionally or unintentionally causes a fire and causes damage to public or private funds and property shall be punished with a fine, imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment.

The Iraqi Turkmen Front ITF demanded an investigation into the incident to find out the causes of the fire that broke out and called for compensation for those affected.

(Khan Qirdar) is one of the oldest bazaars in the city of Kirkuk, and its establishment dates back to 1883.

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