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Iraqis recall first anniversary of devastating ‘Karrada bombing’

Iraqis recall first anniversary of devastating ‘Karrada bombing’
In Baghdad, Iraqis recall first anniversary of devastating ‘Karrada bombing’ that killed more than 300 people. This was the deadliest attack on the country since 2003. In one year, much of the damage has been repaired, but a massive banner bearing images of the victims still hangs at the site, and the psychological wounds inflicted by the fear and loss are far from healed.
Laith Fadhel al-Hussein said, “I still feel as though the bombing happened yesterday. I was very close when the explosion occurred. We were not able to do anything because of the shock.”
“When I come here, I feel a severe (pain) in my heart,” said Hussein, a 42-year-old who lost four cousins and a nephew in the attack.
Food was prepared by relatives of some of the victims and distributed to the dozens of people gathered at the site of the bombing. Sadiq Issa, 43, who was filling Styrofoam boxes with rice, lost nine relatives in the attack.
“After hearing the news, my father had a stroke,” while his mother lost all movement in her arms and legs, said Issa. Even now, “we are not sleeping,” he said, holding back tears. “I am a survivor. I saw my nephews slaughtered” in the attack.
He stated, “This place means everything to me -- here, I lost my families and friends and neighbors and all my loved ones.”
While surrounding areas have been repaired, the “Laith Complex” building is still empty, with the banner with pictures of the victims hanging down the front. Residents of the area said the building is in danger of collapsing and is not safe for restoration, so it may be demolished and rebuilt.
But the process of restoration and paying compensation to the victims and their families is questioned by some. Firas, a 36-year-old who lost his brother in the attack, said the government has not followed through on its pledges to the victims.
He said, “They took advantage of the feelings of the people and broke all their promises.”
Hisham Sabah, 33, also criticized the government’s response. “Imagine, God forbid, if this happened in another country -- the state would help the families of the martyrs,” he said.
“This is the worst massacre since the fall of (Saddam Hussein’s) regime,” but authorities put those seeking compensation through “impossible procedures that make you hate the country.”
Updated 07 Jul 2017 | Soruce: Hindustan Times | By S.Seal
Child Aid International