Iraqi Woman Filmed Fatally Throwing Her Toddlers Off a Bridge

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Police arrested a woman in Iraq on Monday after footage surfaced showing her throwing her two children, ages three and two, over a bridge into the Tigris River.

Highly distressing CCTV footage posted online from October 17 showed the woman walking her children along before hurling them one by one over the al-Aimmah Bridge into the Tigris River near Baghdad, which connects the majority Sunni areas of Adhamiya and the Shi’ite area of Kadhimiya.

In separate footage, the father of the children arrives at the scene and breaks down as he realizes his two children are dead. Specialized rescue teams then look for the two children, whose bodies were retrieved. They have since been identified as Mohammed, three, and Masuma Mohammed, two.

According to the children’s paternal grandfather, Abu Tahsin Deraji, the incident was an act of revenge against her husband who was divorcing her and had gained custody of the children.

“This crime had been long planned for. It has been nearly two months since this woman separated from her husband,” he was quoted by the Kurdish outlet Rudaw as saying.

“In January this year, we caught the woman with her lover,” he continued. “We took her back to her parent’s house and told them ‘this is your daughter. We want to divorce her in court.’ They agreed. We never spoke about this matter in any place, nor did we show the photographs to anyone.”

The tragedy has reverberated around the local community, with Rudaw also quoting a resident describing the incident as unheard of.

“This catastrophe reverberated through the sky,” said Nasir Walid. “I am now 57 years old. I have never heard of a calamity such as a mother throwing her children into the river.”

The crime has caused fury among the Iraqi population, many of whom demanded the woman face the harshest possible penalty. The death penalty remains permissible under Iraqi law and is applicable in cases including murder, treason, espionage, rape, kidnapping, terrorism, war crimes, and drug trafficking. Last year alone, the state executed over 100 individuals found guilty of association with the Islamic State.

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