Tributes pour in for Australian schoolgirl killed in ice cream parlour attack in Iraq

Australian 12-year-old Zynab Al Harbiya had only been in Iraq for a few days with her parents and siblings, to visit her sick grandfather, when she was killed by a bomb after going to get ice cream with her family.


Now her family, class mates and federal ministers are expressing their anguish for her to be lost in such tragic circumstances.

Cousin Layla Al Saabary said Zynab had expressed fears about going to the Iraqi capital before she left Melbourne.

“She was going to get ice cream after she broke her fast. And I was running after her [back in Melbourne], and she was saying, ‘Layla, I’m scared. There might be bombs in Iraq.’ And I said, you know, ‘That’s okay, you’ll be fine.'”

She added: “It just shows that terrorism can target everyone and that everyone can be a victim of it, and I really hope that no-one ever, ever experiences something like this ever again.”

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Zynab was a student at Sirius College in Broadmeadows.

The students have held prayers, and the school has brought in counsellors for her classmates. 

Principal Halid Serdar Takimoglu said it is a devastating time.

“All of us are deeply distressed that one of our smiling students has been taken from us in a cruel act of violence that is beyond understanding,” he said.

IS claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it is a tragedy that shows IS has absolutely no respect for anything.

“This tragedy underscores the brutality of this terrorist organisation that shows no respect for religion, nationality, sovereignty, borders, no respect for humanity,” Ms Bishop said.

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Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has expressed similar sentiments, saying those responsible “aren’t acting in the name of their faith.”

“They’re just criminals motivated by murderous ideology, and I think every Australian feels so much for this little 12-year old girl from Melbourne’s northern suburbs,” Mr Shorten said.

Zynab was buried last night in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf.

The family is holding a private ceremony on Wednesday at their house and the mosque the family attends in Fawkner.

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