2003 Nasiriyah bombing
|Nasiriyah Carabinieri Bombing|
|Date||November 12, 2003|
|Target||Italian military police headquarters|
|suicide bombing, shootout|
17 Italian soldiers |
2 Italian civilians
9 Iraqi civilians
|103 (including 19 Italian soldiers)|
|Perpetrators||Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad|
Before the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the future Carabinieri and Portuguese Guarda Nacional Republicana headquarters was the Nasiriyah Chamber of Commerce, a three-story structure near the Euphrates River. The first U.S. forces to occupy the building were Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, who were later relieved by reservists from the 2nd Battalion 25th Marines.
Italy took part in the Iraq War, as part of the Multi-National Force – Iraq, from 15 July 2003 until 1 December 2006, in and around Nasiriyah (see Operation Ancient Babylon). On July 19, 2003 the Marines in Nasiriyah were replaced by members of the Carabinieri and Italian army.
Insurgents first fired at the police checkpoint on the main road to the Italian headquarters. The police returned fire, but were unable to halt the attack, the policeman Andrea Filippa killed some insurgent slowing the truck. When the police scattered, the insurgent fighters removed the roadblock and a tanker truck rigged with explosives detonated next to the three-story building, tearing off its facade. The huge explosion also hit nearby houses. At least 28 people were killed, including 13 Italian carabinieri, 4 Italian Army soldiers, two Italian and nine Iraqi civilians. More than 100 people were injured, including 19 Italian soldiers.
The attack was the worst incident involving Italian soldiers since Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and the highest loss of Italian soldiers since World War II. The attack thus shocked Italy and plunged it into a three-day mourning period. The soldiers were given a state funeral.