BWI condemns terror attacks Belgium, Iraq, Ivory Coast and Pakistan

The Building and Woodworkers International condemns in the strongest possible terms a spate of recent tragic terror attacks, in Brussels (Belgium), Iskandariyah (Iraq), Grand Bassam (the Ivory Coast), and Lahore (Pakistan).

On Sunday 13 March a group of six gunmen opened fire on tourists and locals on the beachfront of the historic city of Grand-Bassam (Ivory Coast’s first capital), claiming the lives on 22 men, women and children. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group that has claimed responsibility for a number of other recent attacks in nearby Burkina Faso and Tunisia.

A week later, on Tuesday 22 March three bomb attacks at the Brussels airport and Maelbeek metro station killed twenty-eight people died and injured many more. The terror attacks, the deadliest in Belgium’s history, are believed to be a response to Belgium’s participation in the US-led military intervention against the Islamic State in Iraq.

In Iraq, on Saturday 26 March an Islamic State suicide bomber killed at least 41 people and injured a further 105 people that had gathered to watch a football match in Iskandariyah, south of Baghdad. IS statements noted that the attack had targeted a group of Shiite militias, however the majority of the victims were spectators.

And most recently on 27 Sunday March a suicide bomber in the Pakistani city of Lahore has claimed the lives of at least 72 people and injured a further 300 when he blew himself up near the entrance to Gullan-E-Iqbal Park. The area was busy with large crowds of people due to Easter celebrations, and an extremist faction of the Pakistani Taliban named Jamaat-ul-Ahrar that claimed responsibility for the attack, have claimed it was intended to target Christians celebrating Easter.

“The Building and Woodworkers International condemns these actions in the strongest possible terms, and expresses its deepest condolences to the peoples of Belgium, Iraq, the Ivory Coast and Pakistan, particularly those that have lost loved ones through these tragic events,” said the BWI’s General Secretary Ambet Yuson.

He continued, “Around the world we are seeing a deterioration of relations between religious, ethnic and national groups, at a time when we need to act immediately and act together to address urgent social issues like exploitation, unemployment, repression, climate destruction, poverty and hunger. Rather than acts of terror and violence, we need acts of solidarity. For BWI affiliates we know that a key part of the solution to events like this is to build stronger trade unions and cross-border co-operation.”