Three people were killed and several injured when two families clashed in Erbil

Shkoi Kurdistan-

Three people were killed and several injured when two families clashed in Erbil province on Thursday. The deadly fight came a day after the cabinet approved a gun control bill.

The armed fight over a plot of land erupted around 4:30 pm in the Harir sub-district, near Shaqlawa town. The families have been in dispute for years. Three people from one family were shot dead and three others, including policemen, were injured, according to Governor Omed Khoshnaw.

“The law is above all for sure. All legal measurements will be taken against those who committed the crime,” Khoshnaw said.

The clash lasted for hours and was brought under control around midnight. Three members of one of the families have been arrested, while the other family has been “moved to another place,” the governor said.

The fight coincided with another incident in Shaqlawa town earlier in the day that left two policemen seriously injured. The police had been dispatched to watch over a private home after the residents said they were receiving threats. Two suspects raided the home in the early morning hours and the police were injured in an ensuing clash.

Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed described the attack on the officers as a “big crime” and warned no one should give sanctuary to those who break the law.

Gun violence is on the rise in the Kurdistan Region and the government has struggled to bring ownership under control. Firearms, including sniper rifles and machine guns, can be purchased on the black market. An estimated 70 percent of people in the Kurdistan Region own weapons. 

The cabinet on Wednesday approved a gun control bill that regulates arms sales and ownership. Interior Minister Ahmed in May said the government would tighten gun laws, but could not promise to shut down the market.

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