Pakistan condemns loss of lives in Iraq ferry accident | Pakistan Today

Pakistan condemns loss of lives in Iraq ferry accident

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Friday condemned the loss of lives due to the sinking of an overloaded ferry in the Tigris river near Mosul in Iraq.

A ferry overloaded with people celebrating the Kurdish new year and Mother’s Day capsized in the Tigris River near the Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday, killing nearly 100 people, including families, officials said.

Many of the dead were women and children who could be seen struggling to swim against a strong current, their heads bobbing in the water opposite restaurants and an amusement park where people had been celebrating minutes earlier.

An Interior Ministry official said 94 people were killed in the accident, which residents said was the worst in recent memory. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The spokesperson of FO, Dr Muhammad Faisal wrote on Twitter: “[The] government and people of Pakistan are deeply saddened and grieved on the tragic loss of precious lives, including women and children, in [the] unfortunate capsizing of a ferry near Mosul, on the beginning of Nourooz celebrations.”

The FO spokesperson wrote that Pakistan wishes to “join bereaved families, people and government of Iraq in this hour of sorrow and grief and extend “our prayers” to them.

“May Almighty Allah bless the departed souls with highest places in Jannah and grant strength and fortitude to their families to bear this irreparable loss,” he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi ordered an investigation and, according to Iraqi TV, arrived in Mosul later Thursday, where he declared three days of national mourning.

The TV said nine workers operating the ferry have been detained and an arrest warrant is out for the owner of the tourist island where it was headed.