Al-Qaeda resumed its destructive, bloody tactics, this time in a terrorist attack targeting a mosque and homes of civilians in the northern province of Kirkuk, resulting in 270 causalities and destroying more than 50 houses—most of them mud houses of the poor.
In a press statement, Director-General of Health in Kirkuk province Dr. Sabah Amin said the terrorist attack, carried out by a truck bomb, killed 70 people and left about 200 others with various injuries. He said the toll was likely to rise given the number of critical situations.
Television stations carried images of the horrific devastation wrought by the attack, which targeted a mosque and the Hussainiya Al-Rusul in the mostly Turkmen town of Taza, in southern Kirkuk province. The images showed the destruction of dozens of mud houses, with limited possibilities for searching for victims amongst the rubble.
Hundreds of Iraqis showed up at the explosion site in a state of shock, standing atop the rubble of their homes, which had been transformed into piles of earth and metal encasing the bodies of dozens of children and women victims.
The bombing, executed by a truck parked next to the mosque and laden with about a ton of explosives, caused a crater about ten meters deep, littered with victims’ remains for dozens of meters from the center of the explosion.
In a statement, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani described the attack as a hateful, heinous crime, adding that the perpetrators aimed to destabilize conditions and hinder efforts to unite the brotherly dialogue of Turkmen and general Iraqi forces under the umbrella of one nation. He called for the relevant authorities to arrest the perpetrators.
Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki accused those he described as infidels and their allies from the remnants of the former regime of being behind the attack, trying again to spread the spirit of sectarian strife.
Al-Maliki vowed Iraqi forces would arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice, as they had done with the arrest of the terrorists behind Baghdad’s Al-Kadhmiya and Sadr City bombings.
The attack came mere hours after Al-Maliki spoke at a gathering of Turkmen in Baghdad, where he said, “Our battle is on with proponents of violence and terrorism from Al-Qaeda and terrorist organizations. We must not ignore them, because their hands are on knives, proceeding from the language of violence as a basis for dialogue.”
The perpetrators did not target a military, security or political site in the poor town. Rather, they blindly and brutally targeted humanity in their unparalleled manner.
The attack calls for an educational state of emergency to save our children, young girls, young boys and women from those who thoughtlessly desire to use them to kill innocent Iraqis in this terrifying manner—not to mention the security states of emergency that call for mobilizing international efforts to counter extremism of all kinds.