Real Madrid Supporters Club in Iraq Attacked by ISIS

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2016

CARDIFF, WALES - AUGUST 12: The Real Madrid club badge is seen on the pitch prior to the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla FC at Cardiff City Stadium on August 12, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

A terrorist attack on a Real Madrid supporters club in northern Iraq on Friday reportedly left at least 16 people dead and about 20 more injured.

Thomas Burrows of the Daily Mail (warning: link contains graphic images) reported three men armed with machine guns entered the club about midnight and opened fire. Police sources told the outlet the attackers made it through three checkpoints before the incident.

Real Madrid released a statement on the attack:

Real Madrid C. F. deeply regrets the terrible attack in Iraq which today saw 16 members of a Real Madrid supporters club lose their lives and which has also left over 20 injured.

The club expresses its great sadness and offers its regards and condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Real Madrid extends all of its solidarity to the people of Irak, who suffer the excessive injustices of extreme violence.

The Real Madrid players will tomorrow wear symbolic black armbands as a sign of their mourning and respect. Football and sport shall always be spaces in which to come together and in which harmony and peace reign and with which no form of barbaric terrorism will be able to compete.

Today Madridismo across the whole world cries for its supporters, who shall never be forgotten.

Club president Ziad Subhan said Real Madrid fans meet at the club to watch old matches when there isn't a live game going on, per AS. He also suggested ISIS' potential motive for the violence, saying, "They don't like football. They think it's anti-Muslim. They just carry out attacks like this. This is a terrible tragedy."

It's the latest in a string of attacks linked to ISIS in Iraq this week. Jomana Karadsheh, Joshua Berlinger and Ashley Fantz of CNN reported the group claimed responsibility for incidents in Baghdad on Wednesday that killed more than 90 people.

La Liga, the top flight of Spanish football in which Real Madrid has captured 32 titles, released a statement on Twitter about Friday's attack, saying its "thoughts are with the victims and families."

Stephen Jones of the Daily Mirror pointed out fan clubs around the Middle East, including one supporting English club Chelsea, condemned the terrorist acts.