Thursday, December 11, 2008
A suicide bombing in Iraq has killed at least 55 people and injured at least 120 more, according to local police.The suicide bomber struck at a restaurant located about 2 miles north of the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk on Thursday morning. The Abdullah restaurant, where the explosion took place, is popular among Kurdish officials. The attack comes on the Muslim religious holiday Eid al-Adha, known in English as the “Festival of Sacrifice”.
At the time the restaurant was struck, it was full of families marking the final day of Eid. Five women and three children were among the dead.
Kirkuk is the scene of ongoing ethnic tensions, although the reasons for this attack in particular are currently unknown.
Salam Abdullah, 45, was one of the people in the restaurant at the time of the attack. “I held my wife and led her outside the place. As we were leaving, I saw dead bodies soaked with blood and huge destruction,” he stated, commenting on his experiences. “We waited outside the restaurant for some minutes. Then an ambulance took us to the hospital.”
Awad al-Jubouri, who was injured in the incident, condemned the bombers. “I do not know how a group like al-Qaida claiming to be Islamic plans to attack and kill people on sacred days like Eid. We were only meeting to discuss our problems with the Kurds and trying to impose peace among Muslims in Kirkuk.” Jubouri is a tribal leader, who was attending a lunch that was intended to precede a meeting discussing was to lessen tensions between local communities.
Last July, an affiliated restaurant of the same name was the site of a suicide bombing which claimed the lives of six and wounded twenty five.