Saturday, December 01, 2007

Duwailiya Village Fights Back Against al-Qaeda Gunmen

"We don't blame our Sunni brothers for what happened. They're suffering just like us."---Muhsin Abdullah al-Tamimi


On July 18, 2007, The Washington Post reported that unidentified gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms had attacked the small Iraqi village of Duwailiya killing 30 people.

Villagers told the media that some people were killed when they ran outside because they believed the Iraqi Army had arrived to protect their village.

Gunmen opened fire "in the darkness, shooting indiscriminately...Villagers hardly thought of themselves as Sunnis or Shiites, said resident Muhsin Abdullah al-Tamimi, 55..."We are all prisoners here -- Sunni and Shiite doesn't matter," said Tamimi..."We don't blame our Sunni brothers for what happened. They're suffering just like us..." (full text)

According to this 7-18-07 Washington Post article:

Brig. Gen. Raziq Abdul Radhi, an Iraqi military spokesman in Diyala, said insurgents perceived the villagers as hostile and had threatened them. He said he did not know how the attackers obtained what appeared be brand-new police vehicles but conceded that they could have been members of security forces. The attack was first reported in the New York Times.

The Washington Post article did not point out that al-Qaeda often dresses up in police or military uniforms to trick its victims. It did not suggest why the Iraqi security forces might want to attack Duwailiya.

Today the BBC (12-1-07) reports that gunmen have once again attacked Duwailiya, a village of several hundred inhabitants which is mostly populated by Shia Bawi tribesmen.

This time, the attackers have been identified by the BBC as al-Qaeda gunmen. The gunmen killed fourteen people and destroyed ten houses. This time, however, there may have been fewer deaths among the villagers, because some villagers fought back and killed four of the al-Qaeda gunmen:

At least 14 Shia civilians have been killed in an attack by al-Qaeda militants on a village near the Iraqi city of Baquba, officials have said.

Local residents said 60 gunmen launched the raid on Duwailiya, 18km north of Baquba, shortly after daybreak....

The attack on the village of Duwailiya began about 0700 (0400 GMT) on Saturday, local residents and officials said.

The village, which is home to members of the predominantly Shia Bawi tribe, was bombarded with mortar rounds before 60 militants streamed in and opened fire.

Fourteen people were killed during the assault, including four women and three children, and at least eight others wounded, local residents said.

Ten houses were destroyed by the militants.

Several armed villagers later fought back, killing four al-Qaeda gunmen in the process, police said.

Twenty-five people were tied up and shot dead by al-Qaeda-linked militants during a similar raid on Duwailiya in July. (full text)

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