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Fires break out on farmlands in Qara Hanjir villages: official

Cause remains unknown
Fires destroy crop fields of farmers in northern Iraq (File)
2019-06-13

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SULAIMANI — Fires broke out on farmlands in Qara Hanjir sub-district in east of Kirkuk city on Thursday (June 13), an official said.

Director of Qara Hanjir sub-district Avesta Sheikh Mohammed told NRT Digital Media that the fires broke out in the villages of Gulmkawa, Goran, and Qlawqut in the sub-district.

The civil defense teams and villagers were trying to control the fires, Mohammed said.

The fires, however, have not been controlled at the time of writing this report.

The official further said that the cause of the fires was still unknown.

Iraq's northern farmlands are on fire, but the area's complex patchwork of grievances has made it hard to identify the culprits, according to AFP. Farmers in the country's breadbasket had been hoping for bumper wheat and barley harvests in May and June, following heavy winter rains.

Instead, many saw their hopes turned to ash.

The Iraqi Defense Civil said on Sunday that 272 fires destroyed more than 37,000 dunams of farmland in northern Iraq last month.

The blazes hit four provinces in northern Iraq, all of which had been at least partly controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS) and have remained prey to the jihadists' sleeper cells, AFP reported.

ISIS has continued to carry out hit-and-run attacks despite losing its Iraqi foothold in late 2017 and its last Syrian enclave just a few months ago.

(NRT Digital Media)