Real Madrid fan club massacres
On 13 May 2016, a group of militants armed with AK-47s attacked a cafe in Balad, Iraq, frequented by supporters of the Spanish football club Real Madrid. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack. At least 16 people were killed and at least 30 were wounded.
|Real Madrid Fan Club massacre|
|Part of the Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)|
Real Madrid fan club massacres (Iraq)
Location of Balad, where the attacks took place, in Iraq.
|Date||13/29 May 2016|
|Target||Shia football fans|
|Shooting, suicide bombing|
|Deaths||Total: 28+ (+1 bomber)
|Perpetrators||Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
On 29 May 2016, ISIL gunmen and a suicide bomber attacked another Real Madrid fan club in the same area, killing at least 12 people and injuring around 15. They were attacked while watching the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final.
During the first attack on May 13, around 50 fans of Real Madrid were gathered in a café in Balad, to discuss their arrangements for their favorite team's upcoming football match, when six armed men stormed into the café and started to shoot at the young men. Reports claim that grenades were also used to attack those gathered to watch the match. Several attackers reportedly fled the cafe and then detonated themselves, one was captured but then burned to death.
In its claim of responsibility, ISIL said the attack had targeted Shia militiamen, making no mention of any connection to Real Madrid. Some believe that the claim stems from the extremist groups ideology against football, as they believe it is a product of western society.
The attack was condemned by soccer fans around the world. Javier Tebas Medrano the President of Spain's La Liga responded to the attack with the statement "Terrorism has attacked football. We are with the victims and their families." The Real Madrid football club itself expressed "great sadness" and offered its "regards and condolences" to the families and friends of the victims. Real Madrid players wore black armbands for their away game against Deportivo de La Coruña, on 14 May 2016, as a mark of respect. The team also honoured the victims by observing a moment of silence before their match.
After the second attack, Florentino Pérez, the club president, dedicated Real Madrid's win to the fans that were killed, and other Iraqi club fans, including those killed by ISIS. Alaa al-Hashemi, the Iraqi ambassador to Spain, thanked the club and invited the president to visit Iraq.
- Jones, Stephen (13 May 2016). "ISIS massacre 16 Real Madrid fans at supporters club". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "IS militants attack Iraq cafe used by Real Madrid fans". BBC News. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "ISIS gunmen kill 12 Real Madrid fans as they watch Champions League". Daily Mail. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Real Madrid Mourns Soccer Fans Killed in Attack on Cafe in Iraq". NBC News. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- Farmer, Ben (2016-05-13). "Isil massacres 16 Real Madrid supporters in Iraq café". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
- "Real Madrid players pay tribute to Iraq fan club members killed by ISIS". CBS Sports. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "In Iraq town, Real Madrid fans gather in defiance of ISIL". The National. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
- "ISIS kill 14 Real Madrid fans. • /r/soccer". Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Official Announcement - Real Madrid CF". Retrieved 31 May 2016.
- "Real Madrid players to wear black armbands as a mark of respect for Iraq massacre". Retrieved 13 May 2016.
- "Real Madrid fans where 16 were killed by gunmen in ISIS massacre break down in tears after win". The Sun. 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
- Real Madrid's Florentino Perez dedicates Champions League victory to Iraqi fans killed by Daesh
- Mamoun, Abdelhak (30 May 2016). "Iraq thanks Real Madrid and invites its chairman to visit Baghdad - Iraqi News". Retrieved 31 May 2016.