Iraq: civil resistance leader injured in Kirkuk terror blast

Samir Adil, president of the Iraq Freedom Congress (IFC), was among those wounded in a Dec. 11 suicide attack on a reconciliation meeting in the divided northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. His wounds are not life-threatening, the IFC reports via e-mail. The IFC has been working across ethnic divides in Kirkuk to unite local communities against the US occupation and sectarian militias.

The bomber set off his explosives in a crowded restaurant, killing at least 55 people and wounding about 100. The upscale Abdullah Restaurant was the site of what local leaders called a “meeting of understanding” timed for the Eid al-Adha celebration. (Chicago Tribune, Dec. 12)

Among the dead was a locally popular Turkoman singer—Kanaan Mohammed Saleh, 39, host of “The Sweet Voice” show on Kurdish TV, who had been invited to attend the reconciliation meeting. He was killed along with his three children, newly married brother and sister-in-law. His wife was also seriously injured. (AP, Dec. 12)

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  1. Statement from Samir Adil on Kirkuk bombing
    Letter to all brothers and sisters


    We have been receiving many phone calls and e-mails from Iraq and around the world after the bloody bombing in Kirkuk. People have asked about our health and dozens of visitors decided to come from different cities in Iraq to check on our well-being but we asked them not bear the hardship of travel.

    First of all I would like through this letter to extend my condolences to the families of the victims. No words can ease their pain, but we support them in this great ordeal. We also express our profound thanks and appreciation to all who experienced anxious moments concerning our safety. We assure everyone Comrade Mohammed Aziz and I are fine and have miraculously survived the deafening explosion at Kirkuk’s Abdullah restaurant. Our injuries are very minor compared to the dozens of children, women and young people who lost their lives or who were seriously wounded.

    It was a truly horrific scene to see with your own eyes: flying bodies that were shattered here and there, including parts of your own, and the smell of gunpowder filling the place. People who only moments before sought only happiness were suddenly bleeding, mutilated, burned and their bodies dismembered. Those tragic scenes were more painful than our wounds, as we watched joy and laughter disappear from the faces of the people who came to spend a joyful time with their families in an oil-rich city but [among the] poorest in the world. It’s a city that stands on billions of dollars worth of oil but most of its population live under the poverty line.

    Despite the allegations of the nationalists and the years they spent promoting racism, dozens of vehicles stopped to transfer the injured people to the hospital without asking whether they were Kurds, Arabs or Turkmen. Moreover, hundreds of people were standing at the hospital gate eager to donate blood to an extent that made us fear that someone else would blow himself up and cause more casualties. In other words, the sense of humanity was the main factor dominating the scene.

    The only thing that the “enemies of life” sought in this terrible explosion was to kill innocent people and take the smiles off the faces of the children [and] had nothing to do with resisting the occupation and its puppets. My comrade Mohammad Aziz and I have always been against the occupation, have struggled against it alongside thousands of libertarians and yet we were targeted among the others. Would this act be called resistance had we were killed? However, I repeat that the occupation turned Iraq into a base for terrorists who brought insecurity to the citizens.

    They are vampires and there is no argument or word or phrase that could accurately describe these criminals who enjoy killing. I always say to my comrades “It is possible for us to get killed in such [attacks] at any moment because we chose to stand against the occupation; we have decided to wage a war for our lives and the future of our generations.” But what is the guilt of those innocent children, women and men, who chose not to fight any war, did not choose to take either side or join any party in this war? They wanted to live their lives despite the tragedy in the (new) Iraq where no dignity or value for live seems to exist. What is the guilt of those children? They have fallen not knowing why criminals want their lives at any price!

    In surviving this tragic incident, my determination is increased to continue the struggle with my comrades and thousands of libertarians to expel the occupation and terrorist groups from Iraq and to continue the struggle to bring a life where human values are appreciated. The responsibility to put an end to the blood bath, to bring joy back to our children, and to restore hope to millions of families who seek a life without fear is placed on our shoulders.

    Samir Adil

    Dec. 12, 2008