Landmine injures four kolbars in East Kurdistan

A mine blast injured four kolbars in the Bane and Newsûd regions of East Kurdistan.

According to the information obtained, a landmine blast injured three kolbars named Kiyanûş Reûfî (24), Fuad Bitûşî and Amanc in the border region of Bane. It is reported that all three kolbars were from Serdeşt.

The injured kolbars were first taken to the nearest village by other kolbars, and from there to the Bane hospital. Information about the health condition of the injured could not be obtained.

A 25-year-old kolbar named Erkan Mehmudî was injured in another mine blast in Sofi Caney Şûşme, a border region in Newûd. Mehmudî’s right foot was seriously injured by the explosion and was taken to Pawe hospital.

It is believed that the mines were laid during the Iran-Iraq war between 1979-1987. Each year, dozens of kolbars and other civilians are killed or injured by mine explosions in the region.

Kolbars and kasibkars are targeted systematically by Iranian and Turkish security forces. Each year, dozens of them are killed with no punitive measures being ensued. Apart from systematic attacks, kolbars are struggling to make a living under harsh weather conditions, dangerous geographical locations and mines.

Kolber or “kolbar” is derived from the Kurdish words “kol” and “bar”. Kol means “back”, bar means “load”. Kolbars make their living by carrying goods on their back across dangerous borders. The goods they carry include cigarettes, mobile phones, blankets, household items, tea and rarely alcoholic beverages. They have to pass through dangerous roads between South Kurdistan and East Kurdistan. The goods brought are sold at relatively high prices in commercial centres such as Tehran. However, kolbars who carry out the transportation of goods at the expense of their lives receive a very small amount of wages.

Kasibkar refers to those people who receive the goods kolbars carry to South Kurdistan and find buyers in towns.