Real Madrid fan club massacres

Real Madrid Fan Club massacre
Part of the Iraqi Civil War (2014–present)
Real Madrid fan club massacres (Iraq)
Location of Balad, where the attacks took place, in Iraq.
Location Balad, Iraq
Date 13/29 May 2016
Target Shia football fans
Attack type
Shooting, suicide bombing
Weapons AK-47s, bombs

Total: 28+ (+1 bomber)

  • May 13: 16+
  • May 29: 12+ (+1 bomber)
Non-fatal injuries

Total: 45+

  • May 13: 30+
  • May 29: 15+
Perpetrators Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

On 13 May 2016, a group of militants, armed with AK-47s, attacked a cafe in Balad, Iraq, frequented by supporters of the Spanish Real Madrid football club.[1] The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.[2] At least 16 people were killed and at least 30 were wounded.

On 29 May 2016, ISIL gunmen and a suicide bomber attacked another Real Madrid fan club in the same area, killing at least 12 people and injuring around 15. They were attacked while watching the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final.[3]


During the first attack, around 50 fans of Real Madrid were gathered in a café in Balad, to discuss their arrangements for their favourite team's upcoming football match, when six armed men stormed into the café and started to shoot at the young men.[4] At least 14 people were killed outright and two more died of their wounds later on. More than 30 people were injured.[5]


In its claim of responsibility, ISIL said, the attack had targeted Shia militiamen, making no mention of any connection to Real Madrid. However, a statement from Real Madrid said, 16 members of a supporters club had died in the attack.[2]


The attack was condemned by soccer fans around the world.[6] The Real Madrid football club itself expressed "great sadness" and offered its "regards and condolences" to the families and friends of the victims.[7] Real Madrid players wore black armbands for their away game against the Deportivo football club, on 14 May 2016, as a mark of respect.[8] The team also honoured the victims by observing a moment of silence before their match.[5]

After the second attack, Florentino Perez, the club president, dedicated Real Madrid's win to the fans that were killed, and other Iraqi club fans, including those killed by ISIS.[9] Alaa al-Hashemi, the Iraqi ambassador to Spain, thanked the club and invited the president to visit Iraq.[10]

See also


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