Iraqi union conference organiser survives suicide-bomber attack

Submitted by martin on 20 December, 2008 - 11:26 Author: Rhodri Evans

Samir Adil, an organiser of the International Labour Conference to be held in February 2009 in Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, has escaped with minor injuries from a suicide-bomber attack on a restaurant in Kirkuk where he was eating.

Click here for an interview with Samir Adil from Solidarity 3/97
From US Labor Against The War: On December 11th in the city of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq, a suicide bomber successfully attacked a restaurant filled to capacity with families celebrating the end of the Moslem holiday of Eid.

It so happened that at that moment Samir Adil, President of the Iraq Freedom Congress and Coordinator of the forthcoming International Labour Conference in Iraq, accompanied by Mohammed Aziz had stopped for a meal on their way back from a trip to Erbil. When the bomber detonated his explosives, they were in the restaurant.

USLAW received news of this the next day. We contacted Samir's brother Amjad Ali, North American representative of IFC and the General Federation of Workers Council and Unions in Iraq, who lives in Toronto. He confirmed that Samir had suffered shrapnel wounds in the blast but none were life threatening. Brother Ali had only the weekend before attended and addressed the USLAW Leadership Council meeting in Chicago. Below is a message from Samir Adil in response to the numerous messages of concern and solidarity sent to him following the attack.

From Samir Adil:

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 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 who 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 accidents 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 and value for lives 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

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