Bartilla, North Iraq (AINA) -- Witnesses in Bartilla reported yesterday that a group of Peshmarga fighters (Kurdish fighters under the name of Iraqi National Guards) killed 37 year old Nabil Akram Amona by shooting him in the head execution style. Mr. Amona, a father of two, was filling his car with gasoline at the local gas station when the Peshmarga militia drove in, ran from their car to the gas pump and took the gas nozzle out of his car. Seconds later, they put a gun to his head and shot him. A second Assyrian, Matta Shamoun Zora Sha'ya who attempted to bring Mr. Amona to the hospital was also shot to the head twice. Mattai, a father of 4, who is the nephew of the local Syriac Orthodox bishop of Mar Matti Monastery, is in serious condition in the Nineveh hospital. Eyewitnesses heard the militia speaking Kurdish and have seen them come in regularly to steal the gasoline and natural gas from this government station to sell it on the black-market.
The murder is widely seen as a retaliation for the anti-constitution protests (AINA, 8-24-2005) the Assyrians held two days earlier. The Kurds have voted for the constitution in their regional government.
The Kurdistan Democratic party, which funds and controls the Peshmerga, has been stepping up its aggression by arresting Assyrians for no apparent reason and at times beating them severely. On August 19th Sahir Ibrahim Shamoun, a native of Bartilla, was kidnapped and beaten with the base of pistols until he lost consciousness, and was left paralyzed from the beating.