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Government condemns attacks on Real Madrid fan club

“This is a particularly heinous act because the targets of the terrorists were civilians who gathered for the sole purpose of following a sporting event."

Government condemns attacks on Real Madrid fan club
Andrea Comas Reuters

The Spanish government has condemned the terrorist attacks against a café frequented by a Real Madrid supporters club in the Iraqi city of Balad that left 16 people dead and 30 wounded.

“This is a particularly heinous act because the targets of the terrorists were civilians who gathered for the sole purpose of following a sporting event,” the government said through a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.

The government also expressed its condolences towards the families of those killed and wished the wounded a speedy recovery. “The government reiterates its complete solidarity with the people and authorities of Iraq, as well as its commitment to the fight against the scourge of terrorism,” the statement added.

During the night on Thursday, a group of armed men assaulted the café, which is the meeting place of a Real Madrid fan club, in the city of Balad, 125km north of Baghdad, killing 12 mostly young people and wounding a further 25. Another four people, two police officers and two members of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force were killed in a subsequently when one of the attackers detonated a suicide belt, a police source told Spanish news agency Efe.

The president of the regional government of Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, also condemned the attack. “The insanity of terrorism has now attacked a Real Madrid supporters’ club in Iraq. A huge hug to all the families,” the conservative politician wrote on her personal Twitter account.