It has been revealed that the perpetrator of the March 25 suicide bombing of a children’s soccer match in Baghdad was himself a young boy.
The Washington Post reported Friday that the Islamic State suicide bomber was a boy “no more than 15 or 16 years old.” The attack occurred in the town of Iskandariyah just 30 miles south of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Local government officials say 43 were killed, 29 of which were children attending or participating in the game.
“[He] was a child, and he came to kill children,” said Mohammed el-Juhaishi, a local sheikh. “It was a children’s soccer game. Of course he knew he was going to kill children.”
Anmar, a 12-year-old boy who witnessed the attack described the bombing, according to The Washington Post.
“He was a little tall with long hair and he looked different. He was wearing a thick jacket and it was hot,” said Anmar. “He spoke to us. He said, ‘It’s a good game, isn’t it?’”
“Then he blew himself up, and I felt a fire hit my face,” said Anmar. “And then I ran away.”
ISIS took credit shortly after the attack. The terrorist group claimed it was targeting members of a militia group known as Hashd al-Shaabi. Local authorities confirmed that two of the dead were members of the Shiite militia. The Hashd al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) are Iranian-backed Shia militias that are technically part of the official Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). ISIS follows Sunni Islam, and are therefore fundamentally at odds with the Shia units.
ISIS has engaged in a strategy of disruption against ISF and civilian targets as the terrorists lose territory. Though the city of Ramadi was taken from the terrorist group in December, disruptive terrorist attacks have been ongoing ever since.
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