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Tragedy of Halabja

In March and April, there are many anniversaries in Kurdistan. One of its anniversaries, 16th March, is Halabja chemical attack.

On the day in 1988, over 5,000 people were killed by chemical weapon in Halabja located in South east of Kurdistan.

Since then, even now 15 years after tragedy, people have lined up in the road and taken a moment of silence at 11am on 16th March. During the moment of silence, even cars stop and just sirens wail.

People in Kurdistan know much about atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which is considered as the same tragedy as Halabja. When I lined up, I was asked whether Japanese people take a moment of silence on the day of atomic bombings.

Except for in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and schools, it doesn’t seem that there are many people praying. Around 70 years have passed since the end of war. War or atomic bombings seem like a long time ago for us.

On the other hand, after Halabja chemical attack and even now, people in Kurdistan have been suffering a lot. They would keep praying on the date of Halabja chemical attack which epitomizes the hardship which they have experienced.

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April 16, 2015 in Iraq |