ERBIL — April 24, 2017 marks the 43rd anniversary of the Qalladze bombardment by the former Iraqi government which resulted in the deaths of over 450 people and injuries for many more.
Qalladze is in the Kurdistan Region, located north of Sulaymaniyah, near the Iranian border.
On April 24, 1974 the Iraqi government attacked the Sulaymanyiah University which had been relocated to the city the same month. More than 425 students and teachers also relocated along with the university for whom it was opened there. At 9:15 am Qalladze witnessed Saddam Hussein's first airstrike on the University.
Warplanes, rockets and internationally prohibited cannon fires were used against the city. Although the exact number of victims is unclear, some estimate that over 350 people, including students and teachers died. Hundreds more were injured or pronounced missing.
On February 10, 2013, the Council of Ministers of the Kurdistan Regional Government designated April 24 as the University Martyrs Day, in order to commemorate the fallen martyrs of the Sulaymaniyah University in Qalladze.