7 Real Madrid Fans Massacred in Iraq

7 Real Madrid Fans Massacred in Iraq7 Real Madrid Fans Massacred in Iraq

Real Madrid’s Champions League triumph has been marred by an attack on the club’s fans in Iraq. It’s the second time in recent weeks that fans have been targeted by extremists.

A suicide attacker targeting a cafe popular with sports fans killed at least seven people on Sunday, Iraqi police said.

Young fans had assembled in a cafe in Moqdadiyah, northeast of Baghdad, to celebrate the victory of Real Madrid over rival Atletico Madrid in the Champions League football final, AFP reported.

This is the second attack targeting soccer fans in recent weeks. Some 16 Real Madrid fans were killed two weeks ago after their supporters’ club in the town of Balad was targeted by militants from the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group.

Real Madrid’s President Florentino Perez dedicated the club’s 11th Champions success to the slain fans and their families.

“Last night’s triumph is dedicated to the victims of the massacres in Iraq,” Perez said. “Football should always be an area of tolerance, not of violence.”

A social media account carried a statement by IS claiming the senseless attack.

The deadly bombing was carried out despite the attacker’s mother alerting authorities of her son’s dark motives and the man’s picture posted at checkpoints around town, according to the Iraqi interior ministry.

Moqdadiyah is in the religiously and ethnically mixed province of Diyala, which the government declared free of IS early last year. But suicide and car bomb blasts have been carried out in the region since.