Terrorists have once again targeted a Real Madrid supporters club in Iraq on the night that the club won their eleventh European Cup. Just minutes before the end of the game – as the second period of extra-time came to a close – four men stormed the place where fans had gathered to watch the European finale, firing indiscriminately before running away. All four are thought to have escaped but the security forces had set out in pursuit of the attackers.
AS spoke via an interpreter to Ziad Albidani, the president of the club in Baakouba, a town 50km northeast of Baghdad: “It was a similar type of attack to the one that took place earlier in the month. Twelve people have been killed and at least eight wounded, who have been taken to hospital.”
“It took place at the end of the second half of extra-time, ahead of the penalty shoot-out, at around midnight local time [23:00 in central Europe].”
AS also spoke with the president of an associated Real Madrid supporters club in Iraq. “The army are restricting the information that is coming out of the scene. This is a terrible situation. They are destroying the happiness of all Madrid fans on such a special night.”
This latest attack comes on the back of another assault earlier this month during which 16 fans and security personnel were killed and at least 30 further people injured. The locations of the two attacks are less than 100km from each other. On that occasion, responsibility for the attack was claimed by group affiliated to Islamic State and reports suggested they had directly targeted football as it was seen as “anti-Muslim”. After the victory in Milan, Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez said: “I would like to dedicate this cup to our fans in Iraq."
No group has yet claimed responsibility for this latest attack.
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