At approximately 17:15 on 27 January, unidentified armed individuals in a parked vehicle, shot and killed two civilians as they departed Maryamana Hospital, located in the Ankawa neighborhood of Erbil city. Limited reports cited the discharge of approximately 15 rounds. The victims were described as brothers, with one or both also described as off-duty Peshmerga members. Police and other security forces responded, with route closures reported in the area. Erbil Police described the motive as a feud between families. Family members added that the victims were recently released after being held in custody on murder charges for eight months.
While Erbil and other cities of the KR-I represent highly permissive security environments, shootings involving various motives remain common as with any major urban environment. The lethal shooting on 27 January follows a noteworthy shooting against a restaurant in Erbil city on 15 January, with no casualties resulting. Shootings commonly occur in public areas, with the Ankawa neighborhood notably hosting a high concentration of international organizations. In conjunction with the unpredictable nature, this threat underscores the importance of being prepared to react to small arms fire with little warning. Fortunately, casualties amongst bystanders are not regularly reported, and no incident in recent history has resulted in casualties amongst international citizens. Security responses and resulting route disruptions also promote the importance of related contingency planning.
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