KIRKUK — An armoured BMW car, belonging to a Kurdish Peshmerga fighter, saved dozens of lives during the Islamic State (IS) attack on Kirkuk province on October 21.
The armoured vehicle served as an ambulance to transfer the injured people to the hospital while no one else was able to help them due to the IS snipers.
The owner of the vehicle, Ako Aburrahman, known as Ako Duzi, is a Peshmerga on Tuz Khurmatu frontline in southern Kirkuk related the story of the 'Black BMW' to BasNews. "I was on mission when the militants of IS attacked Kirkuk, a friend soon called me and we decided to go to Kirkuk at once to fight the attackers."
"After we arrived at the scene, we saw many wounded individuals among the security forces and civilians and no one was able to approach them due to the IS snipers. Therefore we decided to help those wounded people since bullets could not penetrate my car."
Ako transferred the injured people all day long until late at night and he transferred up to 70 wounded individuals, including Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmens.
"Sadly, one injured person died on the way to the hospital although he was lightly wounded, but he had not been transferred to hospital soon enough."
The car was hit by bullets fifty times and it eventually broke down due to the damage inflicted to it by bullets. Ako said he had bought the car at $9,000 four months before the attack. He revealed that the BMW company has offered to give him a new BMW car for returning the old one to the company to be kept in its museum. Ako however has refused the offer and he decided to offer his car to Sulaymaniyah museum to remain as a symbol of resilience and bravery of Kirkuk people.
The owner of the car was also invited by the Kirkuk Governor, Najmaddin Karim, to his office for appreciating him for the tremendous service he offered to the victims of the Kirkuk attack. However, Ako said he felt insulted by the governor when he awarded him with 500,000 Iraqi dinars ($385).
A group of IS militants attacked several locations in Kirkuk on October 21, but they were repelled by the police and security forces in the city. However, intense fire exchanges left nearly 90 people killed and more than 200 others injured. In addition, over 60 militants were killed and some of them were captured while fleeing the city.