Just like I do every morning, I was walking by city hall a little before 6:30 a.m. And, as is often the case, I chatted with some of the garbage collectors who meet in front of city hall before going off to work. I then walked about 50 metres to the spot where I wait for the bus that picks up employees from my company. At this moment, a car parked right in front of city hall exploded. I was knocked over by the force of the blast. I fell to the ground, with an overwhelming ringing sound in my ears.
When I rose, I saw that I had been scratched up. There was chaos all around. I immediately decided to film the scene with my mobile phone because I knew that, very quickly, ambulances would come to take away the bodies of the victims and the injured and that all signs of the attack would be erased. I wanted to film this video as proof of the horror I witnessed.
As I walked along, I saw that the janitors had been hit. I saw the corpses of people I knew well. The explosion had burned through the clothes of some of them. Others were injured, lying on the ground. Had the bomb gone off a couple minutes earlier, I, too, would have been grievously injured. Very quickly, I stopped filming to help the wounded and cover up those who were dead.
About 15 minutes later, a second explosion occurred just in front of the city’s marketplace. [Seven people were killed and 34 injured in this explosion].
Since the attack, I’ve had strong migraines and a buzzing in my ears. Still, I went back to the site of the bombing. As I imagined, everything was all cleaned up, which is why I felt it was important to share this video on Facebook
Such attacks are rare in this area, which is 300 kilometres south of the capital. I may be Iraqi, but these scenes are not part of our daily life in this region of the country. Usually, I see this kind of carnage on television, where the most disturbing images are removed. But this time, I saw the horror in full.