BAGHDAD — If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don’t give lessons with live explosives.
A terrorist who was in the middle of conducting a training for future militants, accidentally blew up an entire class, killing 21 of his students, and himself.
In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.
According to recent reports, it was rumored that the instructor was in the process of showing his students how to use a suicide belt. As he was teaching, the live suicide belt actually detonated, resulting in mass fatalities.
The report stated that the incident may be viewed as a metaphor for the many lives lost in the wake of foreign and domestic terrorists’ relentless attempts to convert the nation into an extreme-religious state.
Iraqi citizens have long been accustomed to daily attacks on public markets, mosques, funerals and even children’s soccer games, so they saw the story of the fumbling militants as a dark — and delicious — kind of poetic justice, especially coming amid a protracted surge of violence led by the terrorist group, including a rise in suicide bombings.
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Just last week a suicide bomber struck a popular falafel shop near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, killing several people.
On Monday evening Raad Hashim, working the counter at a liquor store near the site of the attack, burst out laughing when he heard the news.
“This is so funny,” Mr. Hashim said. “It shows how stupid they are, those dogs and sons of dogs.”
Another resident of the area, who lives near the ministry building that was targeted last week, said: “I heard this today when my friend rang me in the afternoon to tell me about it. He was so happy as if he was getting married.”
Iraq is facing its worst violence in more than five years, with nearly 9,000 people killed last year and almost 1,000 people killed last month.
On Monday, a roadside bomb in Mosul, in northern Iraq, targeted the speaker of Parliament, Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni, security officials said. Six of his guards were wounded, but Mr. Nujaifi was unharmed, they said.