Suicide Bomber Attacks Stadium in Iraq

People gather after the attack at the football stadium in Iskandariya People gather after the attack at the football stadium in Iskandariya © Alaa al-Marjani/Reuters

25 March 2016
Suicide bombers kills at least 29 people in an attack at a soccer stadium in Iraq.

At least 29 people were killed by a suicide bomber that detonated his belt during the award ceremony at the end of a soccer match. The bombing took place on Friday evening in a small stadium in the city of Iskanderiyah, Iraq. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have claimed responsibility for the attack.

The mayor, Ahmed Shaker, was awarding the players after the match when a man rushed through the crowd and detonated his belt, killing at least 29 people including the mayor, and injuring at least 95 others.

“Most of the crowd were young people. I could see them strewn across the field, some dead, others wounded asking for help,” said 20-year-old Haidar Kadhem, a survivor who was standing 50 metres away at the time of the blast.

ISIL has been controlling western and northern provinces, which Iraqi government forces have recently been fighting. Recent attacks suggest that ISIL is targeting civilians and market places outside their area of control.

On Saturday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered his condolences and said “that these terrorists don’t care where and when and whom. This is totally unacceptable and should be defeated in the name of humanity.” He added that “the international community stands with Iraqis in horror and outrage.”

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