In Bekhal

Search continues for missing two-year-old

SORAN — Efforts to locate a missing two-year-old child, who fell into the waters at Soran’s Bekhal tourist area, have entered their fourth day with no success. The child is presumed drowned.

Local civil defense teams are currently searching the Gali Ali Beg area for the child’s body, but they report that the search is challenging due to the small size of the body and difficult water conditions.

“We have been continuously searching for the child’s body in Bekhal for four days without any leads. We have combed through all possible areas, and today we are focusing on Gali Ali Beg,” Karwan Mirawdali, director of the Soran Civil Defense, told 964media.

Mirawdali noted that there are two unresolved cases of suspected drowning in the Soran district, both involving children. One child has been missing for 39 days, and nine teams are actively searching for the body today.

In the past two months, seven people have drowned in the rivers of the Soran Autonomous Administration, five of whom were children. Last year, nine residents and tourists drowned in Soran’s rivers.

Since the beginning of this year, 14 individuals have been rescued from rivers in the area after facing life-threatening drowning situations.

The Civil Defense Directorate reported 40 drowning deaths across the Kurdistan Region by June 29, 2024. Last year, more than 100 drownings were recorded throughout the region.

Last month, the Soran Autonomous Administration held a meeting to address recent drownings and implement measures to prevent further incidents.

“Soran is a popular tourist destination for people from Kurdistan and Iraq. However, the lack of expertise among tourists can lead to tragic accidents, and we aim to prevent these incidents,” Halgurd Sheikh Najib, head of the Soran Autonomous Administration, told 964media.

The Joint Crisis Coordination Center in the Kurdistan Region recently convened to address the increasing number of drowning incidents. They reviewed safety protocols and high-risk locations, recommending improvements to relevant authorities.

The Soran Administration oversees six districts, 14 sub-districts, and nearly 800 villages, with a population of approximately 380,000 people.

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