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Gunmen target Directorate to Combat Violence Against Women building in Sulaymaniyah City

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Close to midnight on the night of 28 November, gunmen armed with light weapons shot at the KRG Directorate to Combat Violence Against Women building in Tuy Malik neighborhood of Sulaymaniyah. One directorate official claimed the gunmen positioned themselves 150m from the building, engaging the site with AK-47 rifles and at least one rocket from an RPG. No casualties were reported, but the office was damaged as well as some vehicles belonging to neighbors. The incident was suspected of being motivated by an ongoing lawsuit involving the organization and an individual defendant. The directorate filed a complaint against the suspected actors.

Similar incidents in the past have occurred when relatives attempted to intimidate women filing complaints at the office, or retaliation for such actions. The 28 November attack occurred days after another intimidation-style direct fire attack targeted the home of the head of an office for countering domestic violence in Chamchamal on the night of 25 November. This uptick in attacks corresponds with an awareness campaign for gender-based violence surrounding the 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The UN condemned the “cowardly” attack on 28 November.

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