80 + dead - are you convinced yet....

  1. Yak
    13,672 Posts.
    To all you skeptics about the risk that terror poses TO US ALL - irrespective of whether we were FOR or AGAINST the Muslims in the Iraq war -

    ...does this make you stop and think????

    (Other than you raving lunatics that will rekon the Israelis did it)

    This is done to their own......

    Carnage at Iraq's holiest shrine
    From correspondents in Najaf
    August 30, 2003


    A car bomb detonated outside a sacred mosque in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf yesterday, with doctors reporting up to 82 people killed. Among the dead was Iraq's leading Shiite politician, Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, a key preacher of moderation in the war-torn country.



    Hakim was a hero to Iraq's majority Shiite politician / AFP

    Hakim, head of the Iran-backed Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, was killed moments after he delivered his weekly sermon at the Tomb of Ali in the holy city, 180 km south of Baghdad, party officials said in both Baghdad and Tehran.

    Hakim, who spent some 20 years in exile in Iran before returning in triumph to Iraq in May, "met a martyr's fate along with his bodyguards," Mohsen Hakim, political adviser to the ayatollah's brother, Abdel Aziz, said.

    "Hakim died in a car bomb explosion Friday afternoon after prayers," confirmed SAIRI official Adel Abdel Mahdi in Baghdad.

    The car exploded outside the shrine compound's southern gate where Hakim normally entered and exited on Fridays.

    "This operation has targeted the shrine of Imam Ali," the martyred son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, said Sheikh Saad Abbas, a cleric at the mosque compound. "It has been carried out by movements that hate the Shiites. They are targeting the family of Hakim."

    Hakim's death comes five days after the attempted assassination in Najaf of Grand Ayatollah Seyed Mohammad Said al-Hakim, his uncle and one of the top Shiite religious authorities.

    The grand ayatollah escaped but three people were killed in that attack.

    On April 10, in the midst of the war to oust Saddam, pro-Western Shiite leader Sayyed Abdul Majid al-Khoei was stabbed and shot to death at the Tomb of Ali a week after returning to the city from exile in London.

    Friday's explosion went off next to Hakim's black Landcruiser and gutted the vehicles of three of his bodyguards, along with a police car and four other vehicles, one of which was thrown against the walls of the mosque.

    An announcement over the mosque's loudspeakers earlier said Hakim had survived the attack.

    An angry crowd outside shouted slogans against Saddam and his now-banned Baath party as rescuers scoured the heaps of brick and metal for survivors.

    Severals shops were gutted by the blast, which struck as the faithful left after noon prayers on the main Muslim day of worship.

    Smoke filled the area as five charred cars burned, with one thrown at least 100m.

    People were buried beneath the rubble of a gate to the compound and of a nearby restaurant and a shop, which were flattened by the explosion.

    Iraqi police supervised rescue efforts as a few US soldiers watched on.

    Onlookers shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) every time a body was lifted from the heap of metal and brick.

    Outdoor vendors and worshippers, splattered with blood, had gashes on their faces from flying glass.

    The blast caused a gaping crater

    One witness said the car that exploded was a Volkswagen Pasat, typically used as a taxi around Iraq.

    "A burnt body was in the car," the witness said.

    An announcement over the mosque's loudspeakers urged residents to go to the local children's hospital to donate blood.

    The offices of firebrand anti-American cleric Moqtada Sadr were also damaged in the blast.

    The gates of the mosque were shuttered and guarded by dozens of Iraqi police, while three fire trucks were positioned around the compound.
 
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