Public anger sweeps Hilla following funeral service attack

A woman inspects the site of the bomb attack in Hilla. [Stringer Iraq/Reuters]

A woman inspects the site of the bomb attack in Hilla. [Stringer Iraq/Reuters]

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Thousands of citizens turned out in Babel province on Sunday (October 2nd) to demonstrate against a bloody terrorist attack that struck a funeral service in the city of Hilla last week.

On Friday (September 30th), a car bomb exploded near the Prophet Ayoub Mosque, where a funeral service was being held, killing 25 and injuring 37 others.

Provincial officials accused al-Qaeda of carrying out the attack.

"Al-Qaeda carried out one of the ugliest terrorist attacks in the province, killing civilians and children without any reason," said Maj. Gen. Fadhil Raddad, commander of the Babel police. Raddad pledged to launch large-scale operations to search for the perpetrators.

"They shall not hear words from us this time. Action shall proceed," he told mawtani.com. "We shall pursue them and wipe them out regardless of what it may cost, and they should know they will not get away with their deed.''

'The entire place was demolished'

Capt. Mahmoud Abdullah of Hilla city police said the car bomb was loaded with more than 500 kilograms of explosives, in addition to small metal pebbles and incendiary chemicals "to kill the largest number of innocent people".

"The entire place was demolished and no one came out without an injury," he said.

Haider Zanbour, chairman of the defence and security committee in the Babel Provincial Council, said security forces in the province have opened a broad investigation into the attack.

"The strike was carried out in a way that indicates there is a scheme being prepared by terrorist groups to drown the country in the midst of war and sectarian crisis, but they seem unaware that Iraqis have surpassed this phase and discovered the ploy that al-Qaeda and its allies are trying to undertake in Iraq," Zanbour said.

"Al-Qaeda turned this funeral service into scores of funeral services. We shall support Iraqi forces in their operations against the terrorists because terrorists are trying to undermine the security situation in any way possible, but we will prevent them from achieving that.''

'Iraq is one people, one future'

The demonstrators chanted slogans denouncing terrorism and carried signs reading, "No to terror" and "Iraq is one people, one future".

"The city is very angry," said one of the demonstrators, Abbas al-Khafajy, 54. "Citizens want to see the perpetrators of the attack in the hands of Iraqi forces and before Iraqi courts."

"Time will not be long before they are arrested, and the residents will not calm down until then," he said.

Mohammad Hadi Wagga, 42, a government employee in Hilla, said, "I lost my dearest friend in the attack. He was killed for no fault of his own. The terrorists must pay the price as soon as possible."

"The terrorists will continue to kill and destroy, and we shall continue to fight them, but we are certain that the Iraqi forces and the Iraqi people with them will triumph in the end, and that day is not far.''

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    هاشم سعبد

    2011-11-26

    As an Iraqi citizen, I denounce and condemn this brutal terrorist attack that has been carried out by a group of terrorists against a funeral in the city of Hilla. In fact, the people had been gathering in order to convey their condolences to the family of the deceased. Thus, the terrorists detonated a car bomb, which included half a ton of explosives, small iron balls and chemical materials. This destroyed the place and led to the death of twenty-five people, including children. I think that humanity has never witnessed such a brutal terrorist act, which was devoid of mercy and humanity. Even animals cannot commit such a brutal crime. In fact, the terrorists have turned this funeral into tens of funerals, due to their malicious criminal operation that was carried out by the terrorist organization of al-Qaeda. This is proof of their failure in achieving their important objectives. That is why they have carried out criminal operations against the innocent, who had come in order to convey their condolences and express their sympathy to their brothers, who are the family of the deceased.

  • حكيم ناصر

    2011-11-26

    I condemn this brutal criminal operation, and I ask the Iraqi security forces to act immediately by launching raids on those who have carried out this criminal operation. In fact, it is important to track them down everywhere in order to arrest them, whatever it costs, and to let the other terrorists know that no one can get away with his crime. In fact, the security forces have assumed the responsibility for protecting the country’s security and safety. And they have sacrificed their souls and blood in order to defend their country and to protect Iraqis from the evils of the crows and bats of darkness. These criminals have tried to undermine the security situation, using any means possible. However, the security forces have prevented them from achieving that. And they will arrest these deviant groups that have carried out this cowardly criminal operation, which claimed the lives of many innocent victims.

  • حسين الرحيمي

    2011-11-13

    Terrorist acts have a lot of negative and immeasurable impacts on Iraq. What happened in this country is attributed to the malicious acts of terrorists and it has reflected the extent of hatred, hostility, rancor, recklessness, barbarianism and stupidity. These negative impacts consisted of claiming the lives of many innocents for no reason. In addition, a lot of families have been displaced, looted and robbed of all their properties. Besides, a lot of Iraqi families have migrated. Still more, bombing, acts of murder and sowing dissension among Iraqis, as well as carrying out suicide acts in markets, departments, mosques, hospitals and universities, have continued. We should not forget that the acts of reconstruction, development and progress have not begun yet in Iraq. In fact, the delay and decline of the above-mentioned is attributed to the presence of terrorist members and saboteurs, who are working on destroying everything. Therefore, the reaction of Iraqis to terrorism and terrorist groups has certainly been rejection. It is really an act that is rejected by all the sons of Iraq, given that this will promote hostility, violence, criminality and hatred among people. In addition, people have also been terrorized and frightened and become unable to pursue their lives in a normal way, because of the acts of violence, murder, bombing, kidnapping, slaughter, assassination, displacement, aggression, theft and suicide which are carried out by terrorist groups. In fact, all these things have a very bad and negative effect on Iraq and all Iraqis. Thus, Iraqi citizens totally reject everything that has any relationship with terrorist groups and all their hostile, violent, brutal and cowardly acts that reflect their extreme hatred. Since these acts could harm all people, we have to combat and work on eradicating them by all means. In order to achieve this, the sons of Iraq must cooperate with and support all the Iraqi security forces in order to get rid of these malicious members.

  • بشار كريم

    2011-11-10

    Terrorism and the infidel al-Qaeda organization caused many negative effects to this beautiful, genuine country, Iraq. This organization turned the country into a sad country, because of the crimes they committed against the innocent, including murder, bombings, assassinations and mass violations against those people. None of the people were spared from this, and these crimes included all the governorates. Everyone is in danger. Indeed, many of us have lost family members and many of us lost their relatives. There are children who have been orphaned and there are women who have been widowed. Children were murdered and kidnapped; drugs were spread, along with weapons and gangs; thefts were widely committed; the country’s infrastructure was destroyed; many people became disabled due to terrorist operations, and nothing was left without being targeted by al-Qaeda and its terrorists. It is normal for Iraqis to strongly and violently react to terrorism, its ideology and its widespread organizations in Iraq. As such, today we see that all Iraqis demand that the government execute all terrorists and all those involved in terrorist cases and in killing the innocent, without any delays. This is because there is great hatred in all Iraqis for the crimes they committed against the Iraqi people. Terrorism has sent Iraq backward twenty years or more into the past. Everything has stopped in the country throughout the past years because of terrorism, because of the cowardly groups who attacked even investment corporations, doctors and everything. This reduced job opportunities and caused a decline to the country’s economic development. All Iraqis decided to change this situation with their own hands, with the help of the country. Many tribal blocs were formed and were joined by people in the geographic areas of these tribes; these were later called “Awakening Movements.” These movements were made up of the people who tracked terrorism in their areas and guarded these areas to block any moves that the terrorists could attempt to make. They also monitor all terrorist moves. And a large number of terrorists were arrested, along with those who worked and cooperated with terrorism. Now, thank God, the situation is better, and the government should work better to remove all negative influences.

  • محمود الصدفي

    2011-11-4

    We condemn the terrorism attack against the Hilla funeral. May God take revenge on them.

  • وهاب علي

    2011-10-28

    God is our supporter against those who want to harm Iraq and those who target the people of this ravaged country, which is destined to fall as a victim to the rulers and the torturers over the past decades. Even after we got rid of the dictator, we cannot enjoy comfort, because the mean terrorist gangs exploited the security chaos and it deepened among the ranks of the Iraqi people. They practiced their cowardly acts of murder, displacement and strife, which spread, so as to scatter the Iraqi people and territory, and no one was saved from the harm of those mean people; not even the dead, since we see them from time to time targeting the funerals and the funeral houses, as if those villainous murderers enjoy killing and they want to increase the disaster of the dead person’s family. The last horrible crime that they carried out was their attack against a funeral at Hilla. I would like you to speak frankly; is this an act legislated by the heavenly laws or the religious fatwa, or is this merely pure criminality which has no relation to religion or a belief at all? Are these criminal gangs to which deviant and diseased thoughts belong? I do not know. And how stupid are those who carry out those cowardly and miserable operations that they carry out, and under which conditions? And does targeting the funerals include heroism and manhood, for example? Or is it that killing and excessive killing have become one of al-Qaeda’s and the extremist groups’ aspects, and they are no longer able to differentiate between the living and the dead, and they no longer have an organizational agenda or plan to carry out, but to spread terror and destruction everywhere in Iraq? O, God, please help Iraq and its people to get rid of this oppression that they are suffering from, and to get rid of al-Qaeda and all the criminals soon, Amen.

  • عماد احمد

    2011-10-25

    All of the Iraqi people today are condemning what the terrorists are carrying out through the element of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization’s attacks against civilians and innocent people in different parts of Iraq, and the criminal, misguided, terrorist and brutal acts carried out by the terrorists in Halla governorate, when the terrorists targeted with their barbaric attacks a funeral in the governorate, where there were many people who were all civilians and residents of the region. They were brutally attacked, and this attack resulted in the killing of many people who were at the funeral, including young children who died because of this terrorist attack. We call for the government and the security forces to beef up its campaign against terrorists and to arrest and execute them immediately, in response to the terrorist attacks committed by the elements of this organization, which wants to kill the largest possible number of citizens in Iraq. We severely condemn the continued launching of these attacks against ordinary people, causing great harm to their families.

  • Jabar

    2011-10-25

    The al-Qaeda terrorist organization has shown clearly and shamefully its criminal intentions and its deviant thoughts throughout the previous years, with the attacks it has carried out, claiming that the struggle is for the sake of religion and other lies. Does struggling mean to kill someone at a funeral, so as to spread sadness in the whole region? They are simple Muslim people, and their killing and the shedding of their blood in this way is prohibited. I wish God would continue disgracing and revelaing terrorism and that He would enable our security forces to arrest all the terrorists and all of the al-Qaeda networks and cells, which are still working with the crows of darkness, those infidels and criminals, and we wish all the mercy, forgiveness and paradise for all the Iraqi martyrs in Hilla and other governorates.

  • كمال صباح

    2011-10-24

    Al-Qaeda is losing its power by losing many of its leaders and commanders, who were the masterminds of the whole organization. We should realize that those commanders used to direct the members of Al-Qaeda to recruit and exploit the needy and the simple people and to buy their conscience through the religious deception and persuading them that Al-Qaeda is an Islamic group and that their acts are jihad in defense of the nation. I really do not know what jihad they are talking about. They are waging war on the poor and the simple people who belong to their religion. Hence, they are mere criminals, and they are tools used in killing the innocents and in carrying out assassinations, kidnappings, slaughters and bombings, and in disuniting the people through fomenting sectarian strife and spreading hatred among the people, especially those who belong to different religions and sects.

  • فلاح هاشم

    2011-10-24

    The end of terrorism has come nearer. It is natural to consider this as a serious loss and a great shock to the members of al-Qaeda, who have lost their power. We wish to exert more efforts in order to reach the largest possible number of people who belong to the organization of al-Qaeda. In this way, we will weaken them, and they will not find their masterminds, who lead the al-Qaeda terrorist group. The murder of Osama bin Laden and many other leaders of al-Qaeda have weakened its ranks, and their activities have almost stopped. Now they are hiding, and they exploit children in order to use them in carrying out their cowardly and terrorist crimes, because they do not have anyone who would collaborate with them, as it was in the past. Moreover, planning has become weaker and more inaccurate, because the loss of many of the leaders of al-Qaeda has dealt successive deathblows to all those who joined this terrorist organization to kill innocent citizens without justification in terrorist and barbaric operations that left many innocent victims. Hence, we should continue our war on the leaders of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, to cut off the head of the snake. Once this is done, the body will die. This means that the security forces must continue to perform their duties towards the citizens in order to maintain the security and stability after getting rid of all members of the cowardly al-Qaeda terrorist group. The security forces should perform this national duty in maintaining the security and stability through this national duty. They must fight all the groups that work on killing the people through the bombings.

  • عصام محمد

    2011-10-24

    Dear brothers, I feel sorry for my people in Iraq. The terrorist attack that targeted the funeral ceremony in al-Hillah Governorate is absolutely rejected and proves the criminality and horribleness of those monsters who commit such crimes against the people who were distressed as a result of their suicide and terrorist attacks and bombings. The terrorists decided to continue in their cowardly crimes against the innocents who were attending the funeral ceremony. This attack is a brutal crime and it is a sign of hatred and grudge, as well as attempts to keep the tragic status quo. Those criminals work persistently to stop the forward movement of Iraq, through resisting the development and renaissance of Iraq. Therefore, we condemn the cowardly terrorist attack that took place in al-Hillah Governorate and targeted a crowded funeral ceremony. Hence, the Iraqi security forces are required to hunt down all the perpetrators of this cowardly crime, which harmed many innocent Iraqis who were attending this funeral ceremony. Hence, it is extremely necessary to arrest them and bring them to justice to receive their punishment, such as public execution, in order to make an example of the criminals who carry out these cowardly terrorist operations. Such acts represent a violation of all the laws and an assault on the citizens, in addition to killing innocents that we are not allowed to kill.

  • ماهر

    2011-10-24

    Peace be upon you…. The Iraqi arena witnesses the return of the terrorist acts, such as bombings, attacks with car bombs and assassinations. Hence, it is necessary for the government to provide many of the security forces that work on providing security and protection to the Iraqis through carrying out search campaigns and incursions. However, this requires great cooperation between the citizens and the security forces in order to arrest all the suspicious elements, through reporting any suspicious behavior seen by the citizens in their residential elements. In this way, the security forces would reach the dens of the terrorist elements and this would save all people from the harmful terrorists that harm people and terrorize them.