AP NEWS
Related topics

3-Year-Old and Father Only Survivors in Family after Missile Attack With AM-Gulf Rdp

March 14, 1988

DARBANDIKHAN, Iraq (AP) _ Nisrin’s mother, two sisters and three brothers are dead. The 3-year-old and her father, one leg blown away, are all the family left after 25 missiles fell on this town in a storm of explosion and fire.

Nisrin’s head was wrapped in blood-stained bandages Monday. Her father Mohammed Amin, 54, also lay in the Sulaimaniya Hospital in the northern Kurdistan province, his right leg missing.

Both were unconscious as neighbors buried the six family members and nine other people killed by the rain of short-range missiles Sunday on Darbandikhan. More missiles fell on nearby Halabja.

The attack marked resumption of the latest round in the ″war of the cities,″ which took hundreds of lives in the 12 days from its beginning Feb. 29 until both Iran and Iraq called it off temporarily last Friday.

Iraq retaliated for the short-range missiles by launching a rocket into Tehran like scores of others it had fired into the Iranian capital since the duel began.

Reporters were flown to Darbandikhan on a tour organized by the government to publicize the damage caused by the attacks on population centers. Thousands of civilians have been killed in the cities since Iran and Iraq went to war in September 1980.

Hamad Mustafa, a resident, said the town ″enjoyed two quiet nights″ before Sunday’s barrage. He said the 70,000 people who live there had no time to run to shelters because the missiles came suddenly and continued for an hour.

An army officer pointed to a mountain in the distance and said: ″This is the border.″ He said the Iranians had set up a new missile position just beyond it.

Jafer Barazanchi, the regional governor, said a ″mass evacuation″ of Darbandikhan’s population was being considered.

Mourners demanded revenge, not evacuation. About 10,000 people marched Monday behind 15 coffins draped in Iraqi flags, chanting slogans against Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s revolutionary patriarch.

At the cemetery they shouted ″Death to Khomeini 3/8″ and waved a banner reading: ″Fire more Al Hussein missiles on the criminals in Iran in revenge for our people.″

Iraq has given its long-range missiles the name Al Hussein, for a Shiite Moslem saint, and claims to have developed them itself. Western military analysts say the missiles are Soviet-made Scud-Bs with strap-on boosters enabling them to reach Tehran, nearly 300 miles from the border.

AP RADIO
Update hourly