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Iranian Border Guards Injure 20 Kurdish Kolbars in Gun Attack

February 26, 2024
1 min read
The porters sustained injuries to their stomachs, backs, heads, arms and legs, after border forces targeted them with shotguns
The porters sustained injuries to their stomachs, backs, heads, arms and legs, after border forces targeted them with shotguns

Islamic Republic border forces injured at least 20 Kurdish porters, or kolbars, on the evening of February 24 in western Kermanshah province.

The porters sustained injuries to their stomachs, backs, heads, arms and legs, after border forces targeted them with shotguns. 

They were transferred to medical centers in Paveh city for treatment, according to the Hengaw human rights website.

The kolbars are porters who haul goods on their backs and on foot across the borders of Iran, over long distances, mostly in the impoverished, mountainous Kurdish areas adjacent to Iraq.

Iranian authorities label kolbars as "smugglers” but human rights organizations maintain that their activity is a form of survival for the many Kurdish Iranians living in impoverished border regions where economic opportunities are scarce.

According to the Kolbar News website, a total of 85 kolbars lost their lives while transporting goods in the western provinces of West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah between March and September 2023. 

The causes of death included direct fire by the military forces, blizzards, cold weather and falls from mountains and heights.

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