2007 Yazidi communities bombings

2007 Yazidi communities bombings
Location of Qahtaniyah, Iraq
LocationQahtaniyah and Jazeera, Iraq
DateAugust 14, 2007 (UTC+3)
Attack type
Car bombs

The 2007 Yazidi communities bombings occurred on August 14, 2007, when four coordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Yazidi towns of Til Ezer (al-Qahtaniyah) and Siba Sheikh Khidir (al-Jazirah), near Mosul in Iraq.

796 people were killed and at least 1,500 people wounded,[1][2][3] making this the Iraq War's most deadly car bomb attack.It is also the third deadliest act of terrorism in history, following behind the 2014 Camp Speicher massacre in Iraq, and the September 11 attacks in the United States.[4] No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Tensions and background

For several months leading up to the attack, tensions had been building up in the area, particularly between Yazidis and Sunni Muslims (Muslims including Arabs and Kurds). Some Yazidis living in the area received threatening letters calling them "infidels".[5] Leaflets were also distributed denouncing Yazidis as "anti-Islamic" and warning them that an attack was imminent.[6][7]

The attack might be connected to an incident wherein Du’a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year-old Yazidi girl, was stoned to death by the Yazidis. Aswad was believed to have wanted to convert in order to marry a Sunni.[8][9] Two weeks later, after a video of the stoning appeared on the Internet, Sunni gunmen[10] stopped minibuses filled with Yazidis; 23 Yazidi men were forced from a bus and shot dead.[11]

The Sinjar area which has a mixed population of Yazidis, Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs was scheduled to vote in a plebiscite on accession to the Kurdish region in December 2007. This caused hostility among the neighbouring Arab communities. A force of 600 Kurdish Peshmerga was subsequently deployed in the area, and ditches were dug around Yazidi villages to prevent further attacks.[12]