March 16th marks the 24th anniversary of the Halabja Massacre of 1988.
1. (Sayeed Janbozorg) - two people dead (one whose face is covered by a little blanket by the photographer) and a Kurdish man, with their cat. The poisonous gas killed people instantly.
2. (Sayeed Janbozorg) - children that were killed instantly by the poisonous gas, who probably had no idea what to do or where to go.
3. Halabja cemetery.
4. (Sayeed Janbozorg) - the pain of a father having to carry his infant, running for safety. Of course, neither of them made it to safety.
5. Iraqi Kurds collect the bodies of those gassed by Saddam’s forces at Halabja
The incident, which has been officially defined as an act of genocide against the Kurdish people in Iraq, was and still remains the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian-populated area in history.
The attack, sanctioned by Saddam Hussein, indiscriminately killed between 3,200 and 5,000 Kurds, and injured around 7,000 to 10,000 more, through poisonus chemical gas. Thousands more died of complications, diseases, and birth defects in the years after the attack.
In Halabja, chemical weapons were dropped for five hours in the region. Children ran to shelter, some ran out of the town only to die halfway, mothers carrying their children in their arms, father’s rushing towards safety – there was no safe haven for them. Those who managed to escape had burnt skin, some deformed, and others diagnosed with cancer.