Nineveh Provincial Council decides to summon Mosul governor

The members of the Nineveh Provincial Council at a press conference on Friday, March 22, 2019. (File)

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SULAIMANI – The Nineveh Provincial Council decided on Friday (March 22) to summon Governor Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan to answer questions following the Mosul ferry disaster.

The Council also wanted al-Sultan to address reports that a car belonging to him had hit several protesters on Friday when he visited the site where the ferry sank.ha

Member of the Nineveh Provincial Council Galawezh Ali told NRT Digital Media that the Council decided during a meeting today to launch an urgent investigation into the two issues.

At least 90 people, mostly women and children, drowned when an overloaded ferry capsized on the Tigris River. The death toll is expected to rise.

“There are some Kurdish people among the people who died in yesterday’s incident,” Ali said. “But the number of the Kurdish victims is unclear so far.”

The Nineveh Provincial Council also decided during the meeting to revoke the licences of the recreational area where the ferry sank and bring the site’s owner and manager to court.

Family members of the victims gathered on Friday at the site of the sinking to mourn and demand justice.

When Iraqi President Barham Salih attempted to make a visit to the area, he was angrily confronted by relatives of the victims and was quickly whisked away by police.

When al-Sultan attempted to make a similar visit, his convoy of vehicles was surrounded by protesters, some of whom threw bricks at the governor’s vehicle as he attempted to drive through the crowd. The governor's vehicle hit two people, according to Iraqi media outlets.

The condition of the protesters was not immediately known.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi visited the area immediately after the ferry sank and ordered an investigation into the incident.

He also declared three days of mourning across Iraq.

Kurdistan Regional Government has also declared a period of mourning and canceled a number of Newroz activities out of respect for the victims.

(NRT Digital Media)