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The 2003 Nasiriyah bombing was a suicide attack on the Italian Carabinieri MSU headquarters in Nasiriyah, Iraq, south of Baghdad on 12 November, 2003. The attack resulted in the deaths of 18 Italian servicemembers, mostly members of the MSU Carabinieri, an Italian civilian, and 9 Iraqi civilians and was the worst Italian military disaster since the Second World War. The attack, labeled a "terrorist act" by Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, was among a string of many attacks on non-American military international targets in Iraq that occurred shortly after the end of major combat operations, including the Jordanian and Turkish embassies, International Red Cross, and UN facilities. [3]

Nasiriyah Carabinieri Bombing
Italian Police HQ Bombing is located in Iraq
Italian Police HQ Bombing
Italian Police HQ Bombing
Italian Police HQ Bombing (Iraq)
Aftermath of the attack
LocationNasiriyah, Iraq
DateNovember 12, 2003
TargetItalian military police headquarters
Attack type
suicide bombing, shootout
Deaths18 Italian soldiers[1]
1 Italian civilian
9 Iraqi civilians
Injuries
103 (including 20 Italian soldiers)
PerpetratorsJama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad[2]
Nasiriyah Bombing Memorial (Bologna)

PreludeEdit

Before the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the future Carabinieri and Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republicana headquarters was the Nasiriyah Chamber of Commerce, a three-story structure near the Euphrates River. The first U.S. forces to occupy the building were Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, who were later relieved by reservists from the 2nd Battalion 25th Marines.

Italy took part in the Iraq War, as part of the Multi-National Force – Iraq, from 15 July 2003 until 1 December 2006, in and around Nasiriyah (see Operation Ancient Babylon). On July 19, 2003 the Marines in Nasiriyah were replaced by members of the Carabinieri and Italian army. Italian forces in Iraq were under British command and those in Nasiriyah were some of about 3,000 total Italian servicemembers in the country, including 400 Carabinieri forces of the Multinational Specialized Unit.[4]

AttackEdit

The attack began shortly before 11:00 a.m. when a large tanker truck sped towards the entrance of the base. Iraqi troops fired at the truck in a futile attempt to stop the vehicle and at least one of the attackers fired a rifle back. Witnesses said a decoy car had preceded the truck. The tanker slammed into the gate of the building and exploded in a massive fireball. Nearby houses sustained structural damage and a car carrying five Iraqi women was incinerated, killing those inside. The blast was so powerful that buildings across the Euphrates river suffered shattered windows. The three-story building serving as an Italian headquarters was destroyed with the front of the building collapsing. 18 Italian troops, including 12 Carabinieri policemen were killed in the blast along with an Italian civilian. A further 20 Italians and 80 Iraqis were wounded.[5][6]

AftermathEdit

The attack was the worst incident involving Italian soldiers since Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and the highest loss of Italian soldiers since World War II. The attack thus shocked Italy and plunged it into a three-day mourning period. The soldiers were given a state funeral. Despite the large loss, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reaffirmed his commitment to the mission in Iraq and President Bush said in a statement at the White House, "Today in Iraq, a member of NATO, Italy, lost some proud sons in the service of freedom and peace." [7]

Italian Defence Minister Antonio Martino pinned blame on Saddam Hussein loyalists saying, "evidence on the ground and intelligence reports lead us to believe that today's attack was planned and carried out by remnants loyal to Saddam... united with Arab extremists."[8]

FilmEdit

  • Nassiryia - Per non dimenticare [9]

20 Cigarettes (2010) [10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Period Details
  2. ^ Richard York (20 June 2015). Know Thy Enemy: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Lulu.com. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-1-329-23188-7.
  3. ^ Suicide Bombings in Operation Iraqi Freedom by Robert J. Bunker - Claremont Graduate University https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b45b/51fae3e0c02bd05bf881e4a6c328fa19f7c3.pdf
  4. ^ "Italian death toll rises in Iraq - Nov. 12, 2003". CNN.com. 2003-11-12. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  5. ^ "Suicide blast wrecks Italian base". BBC NEWS. 2003-11-12. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  6. ^ "Deadly Iraqi Blast Targets Italian Police". latimes. 2003-11-13. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  7. ^ Cosgrove-Mather, Bootie (2003-11-12). "Italy Vows To Continue Iraq Fight". CBS News. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  8. ^ "Italian death toll rises in Iraq - Nov. 12, 2003". CNN.com. 2003-11-12. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  9. ^ imdb
  10. ^ [1]

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit