From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|— City —|
|Ishtar Gate, Babil Neighborhood, Babil Resort, Ale'tiba'a Street|
|Population (1998 Est)|
Al-Hillah (Arabic: الحلة; BGN: Al Ḩillah; also spelled Hillah or Hilla) is a city in central Iraq on the Hilla branch of the Euphrates River, 100 km (62 mi) south of Baghdad. The population is estimated at 364,700 in 1998. It is the capital of Babylon Province and is located adjacent to the ancient city of Babylon, and close to the ancient cities of Borsippa and Kish. It is situated in a predominantly agricultural region which is extensively irrigated with water provided by the Hilla canal, producing a wide range of cereals, fruit and textiles.
It became a major administrative centre during the rule of the Ottoman and British Empires. In the 19th century, the Hilla branch of the Euphrates started to silt up and much agricultural land was lost to drought, but this process was reversed by the construction of the Hindiya Barrage in 1911–1913, which diverted water from the deeper Hindiya branch of the Euphrates into the Hilla canal. It saw heavy fighting in 1920 during an uprising against the British, when 300 men of the Manchester Regiment were apparently defeated in the city. It is said to be where the Hanging Gardens of Babylon once were.
Hillah during the U.S. Invasion of Iraq
Hillah was the scene of relatively heavy fighting in the 2003 invasion of Iraq on and around April 1, 2003. Iraqi casualties from the Medina Division of the Republican Guard were unknown but heavy, with several hundred reported to have been killed in fierce fighting with the United States Army (2-70th Armor, Ft. Riley, KS). After the battle with the RG Medina Division the US Army forces moved to Baghdad and the U.S. Marine forces took over responsibilities in Al Hillah.
Shortly after the invasion a mass grave site was reported by locals to be in the area around Hillah. Local citizens and members of ORHA worked together to exhume thousands of Iraqis who had been murdered by Saddam Hussein's security forces during the uprising against his government in 1991.
The 1st Marine Division had established a base at one of Saddam Hussein's Palaces about one mile north of Hillah. This also happened to be the historical site of Babylon and further damaged the ruins of the ancient city. The 372nd Military Police Company had performed law and order and Iraqi Police training in the city from June 2003 to October 2003 prior to moving on to Abu Ghraib prison. The city was part of the Polish military zone under the occupation of Iraq.
After the initial invasion, Hilla was relatively peaceful, but it then became the scene of numerous bomb attacks.
- In February, 2004, insurgents tried but failed to blow up a camp run by Hungarian troops with truck bombs.
- February 28, 2005 saw the deadliest single insurgent attack up till then, when a car bomb killed 125 people outside a medical clinic.
- On May 30, 2005, two suicide bombers killed 31 Shia police, and wounded 108 Shia police.
- On September 30, 2005, a car bomb exploded in a vegetable market in Hilla, killing 10 and wounding 30 others.
- On January 2, 2007, at least 73 people were killed and more than 160 were injured when two suicide bombers blew up themselves at a gathering of Shia militias.
- On February 1, 2007, a pair of suicide bombers detonated explosives among shoppers at a crowded outdoor market, killing at least 45 people and wounding approximately 150.
- On March 6, 2007, 114 people were killed and at least 147 people were wounded in two car bomb attacks on a Shia shrine.
- On May 10, 2010, a series of three to four suicide car bombs at the 'State Company for Textile Industries' in the city killed a total of 45 people and left 140 wounded.
- ^ Money, Robert I. (1917). "The Hindiya Barrage, Mesopotamia". The Geographical Journal 50 (3): 217–222. JSTOR 1779909.
- ^ "Bombings rock Shiite city". Associated Press, February 2, 2007.
- ^ Abbas al-Ani (10 May 2010). "102 killed in Iraq's bloodiest day this year". Agence France-Presse. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ivtK8MT02_eZ0Pa8CtFIHXPkncYw. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- Iraq Image - Al Hillah Satellite Observation
- Texts on Wikisource:
- Gilman, Daniel Coit; Peck, Harry Thurston; Colby, Frank Moore (1905). "Hillah". New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company. Wikisource
- John Punnett Peters (1911). "Hillah". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Reynolds, Francis J., ed. (1921) "Hillah" Collier's New Encyclopedia P. F. Collier & Son Company. Wikisource