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Imam Ali Mosque bombing

Imam Ali Mosque bombing
File:Meshed ali usnavy (PD).jpg
The Imam Ali Mosque
Location Najaf, Iraq
Date 29 August 2003
Target Imam Ali Mosque
Attack type
car bomb
Deaths 95
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad or al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI)

The Imam Ali Mosque bombing was the detonation of two car bombs outside of the Shia Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf on 29 August 2003. The attack killed 95 people crowded around the mosque for Friday prayers, including Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, spiritual leader of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.[1]

The attack was devastating for the Shia community in Iraq, because such a revered cleric was killed and so many lives were lost. The bombing was the deadliest attack in Iraq in 2003. In response to the attack, thousands of Shia mourners marched in the streets of cities and towns across Iraq. The mourners, many of whom blamed Saddam Hussein's loyalists for the attack, held anti-Baathist protests.[2] No one has claimed responsibility, and Saddam himself released a taped audio message in which he denied having any involvement.


Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) claimed responsibility for the attack, the New York Sun wrote in 2007.[3]

According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was responsible for Hakim's assassination. They claim that Abu Omar al-Kurdi, a top Zarqawi bombmaker who was captured in January 2005, confessed to carrying out this bombing. They also cite Zarqawi's praising of the assassination in several audiotapes. Some sources even state that Zarqawi's father-in-law was the suicide bomber who detonated the bomb.[citation needed]

In July 2007, the Iraqi Justice Ministry said that an al-Qaeda in Iraq militant had been executed for his role in the bombing.[3] More specifically, Oras Mohammed Abdulaziz, an alleged Al Qaeda militant, was hanged in Baghdad in July 2007 after being sentenced to death in October 2006 for his role in the attack and assassination of al-Hakim.[3]


  1. ^ "Imam Ali Mosque". Global Security. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "FBI to join mosque bombing probe". CNN. 1 September 2003. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Mroue, Bassem (6 June 2007). "Alleged Al Qaeda Militant Is Hanged". The Sun (Baghdad). AP. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 

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