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Member Cities' Activities

Commemoration of the tragic chemical bombardment of Halabja

Report by Mr. Zimnako Mohammed, the City of Halabja

Halabja is the deep wound that embodies the suffering of the Kurdish people during the last century. Thirty-three years ago, Saddam Hussein ordered his air force to bomb the Kurdish town of Halabja by the chemical weapons.

Around 5,000 people, majority women and children, were killed when the former regime of Iraq dropped mustard gas onto the city of Halabja on March 16, 1988. The event, which was recognized as an act of genocide by Iraq’s High Court in 2010, has left a permanent scar in the historical memory of the Kurdish people.

Many survivors suffered long-term health problems as a result of the attack, which was part of a longer genocidal campaign called Anfal against Iraq’s Kurds by the Baathist regime.

Similar to the previous year, this year people of the city, victims and survivors gathered to commemorate that tragic event. Municipality of Halabja organized various activities on that day including:

  • Municipality of Halabja in cooperation with Mam Humanitarian Organization, started a project to plant 5,000 trees in the Halabja to memorialize the 5,000 victims of the catastrophe.
  • A photography exhibition for Halabja Photographers Organization
  • Children art exhibition with the chemical bombardment subject
  • The art work to prepare a garden of flowers with the remaining of the chemical bombs
  • Opening of the Halabja Cultural Museum
  • Participation in various panels and discussion regarding the event


  • Photos: courtesy of the City of Halabja

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