A group of Real Madrid fans were massacred when the ISIS attacked their supporters club’s headquarters in Balad, a city 50 miles north of Baghdad, as per Spanish newspaper AS.
According to the report, some men armed with AK-47 rifles stormed the cafe in which 50 members of Real Madrid supporters club were gathered. The attack resulted in 16 people losing their lives, with a further 20 severely injured.
Ahmed Tha’er, an eyewitness of the entire incident, told NBC News Friday: “We were around 50 fans of Real Madrid, gathered in a cafe in Balad in order to discuss our arrangement for tomorrow’s team football match. Suddenly, six armed men stormed into the cafe and started to shoot randomly on the young men. I laid down on the ground.”
Ziad Subhan, the president of the supporters club, gave further insight into the incident in an interview with AS, in which he stated: “A group of Islamic terrorists, from ISIS, came into the café, armed with AK-47s, shooting at random at everyone who was inside. They don’t like football, they think it’s anti-Muslim. They just carry out attacks like this. This is a terrible tragedy.”
Real Madrid released an official statement regarding the incident as well, stating: “Real Madrid C. F. deeply regrets the terrible attack in Iraq which today saw 16 members of a Real Madrid supporters club lose their lives and which has also left over 20 injured.
“The club expresses its great sadness and offers its regards and condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Real Madrid extends all of its solidarity to the people of Iraq, who suffer the excessive injustices of extreme violence.
“The Real Madrid players will tomorrow wear symbolic black armbands as a sign of their mourning and respect. Football and sport shall always be spaces in which to come together and in which harmony and peace reign and with which no form of barbaric terrorism will be able to compete. Today Madridismo across the whole world cries for its supporters, who shall never be forgotten.”
Javier Tebas Medrano, the president of Spain’s La Liga, also took to Twitter to talk about the tragedy, wherein he said: “Terrorism has attacked football. We are with the victims and their families. We were going to travel this month [to Iraq], but it was put off for security reasons. We will be back to support the people of Iraq.”