Marking 36th anniversary of attack

Erbil man walks to Halabja to commemorate chemical attack anniversary

ERBIL — Ali Bandian, a young man from Erbil, has embarked on a 280-kilometer trek to Halabja to commemorate the 36th anniversary of a devastating chemical attack on the city.

Bandian began his journey on Feb. 25, with the aim of reaching Halabja by March 16, the anniversary date. His route will take him through Koya and Dukan districts, across Sulaymaniyah governorate, and finally to Halabja.

This walk echoes a similar journey undertaken last year by Aram Kovili from Duhok, who received a warm reception upon reaching Halabja.

The trek comes as Halabja prepares to commemorate a chemical attack on March 16, 1988, carried out by Saddam Hussein’s regime amid the Iraq-Iran war. More than 5,000 people were killed and over 10,000 more injured, many of whom still face long-term health consequences.

Azad Tofiq, the governor of Halabja, recently met with local officials to begin planning the commemoration event.

Halabja, now a recognized governorate by the Kurdistan Regional Government, is located near the border with Iran, approximately 83 kilometers southeast of Sulaymaniyah.

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