October 27, 2003: Car bomb hits the International Red Cross in Iraq

On October 27, 2003 Iraqis detonated car bombs outside the ICRC HQ and five police stations across Baghdad, killing 40 and wounding 200

BAGHDAD, IRAQ – Why is it that terrorists have no compunction killing those who work for humanitarian organisations?

We owe a lot to the medical profession, especially nowadays as we are still dealing with COVID-19. Doctors, nurses and everyone else who works in this field have done Herculean deeds to save lives and make comfortable those who eventually succumbed to the disease. And this particular illness is just one of thousands that threaten humans every year.

It is also generally accepted that when it comes to war and conflict anyone in the medical industry is seen as out of bounds for retaliation. In other words, men and women who respond to injury and death on the battlefield are NOT supposed to be targeted. EVERYONE knows this.

Tell that to the terrorists.

On this day in 2003

Iraqis detonated car bombs outside the International Red Cross (ICRC) headquarters and five police stations across Baghdad, leaving around 40 people dead and more than 200 wounded. All of the attacks came within 45 minutes of each other and appeared to be carefully choreographed by Iraqi resistance guerrillas and timed to coincide with the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

We feel helpless when see this.

Iraqi doctor at the bomb site

The US said they thought ‘Saddam loyalists‘ were behind the attacks: I think it was more likely terrorists linked to Al Qaeda (AQ). In the wake of a heinous act of this nature Sir Nicholas Young, the chief executive of the British Red Cross, noted: “[to] have been deliberately targeted in this way is a great shock to us … [but] despite today’s attack we remain committed to helping the Iraqi people”.

Again, a great deal of thanks to those who mend and save. Too bad the terrorists don’t share this sentiment.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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