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Funeral for Iraq immigrant fatally beaten in her El Cajon home

March 31, 2012 | 10:06 am

Funeral

An Iraqi immigrant fatally bludgeoned in her home in El Cajon was buried Saturday in her homeland as the investigation into her slaying continues.

"Oh God, take revenge on those responsible," Nabil Alawadi screamed in anguish, according to the Associated Press, as his daughter, Shaima Alawadi, was buried in the holy city of Najaf.

"We are shocked by this criminal act against my daughter who called for love and tolerance," he said.

Alawadi's husband, Kassim Al-Himidi, and the couple's daughter, Fatima, 17, fainted as other relatives wept uncontrollably, the AP reported.

An advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said that the Iraq government has urged the U.S. to "take every step needed to achieve justice, especially if this is related to hate crimes. Such crimes must be stopped."

Fatima Al-Himidi found her mother's bloodied body March 21 in the dining room of the home. A note nearby warned Alawadi to "go back to your country" and branded her a terrorist. The family told police that a similar note was taped to their door a few days earlier.

The 32-year-old mother of five, who immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-1990s to escape the regime of Saddam Hussein, was taken off life support three days after the beating.

El Cajon police have said the possibility that the killing is a hate crime is only one possible motive and that "other evidence" is being investigated.

A plane sent by Maliki brought Alawadi's body from Baghdad to Najaf for burial in a cemetery close to the tomb of Imam Ali, the founder of the Shiite faith.

"What we want is the truth about this ugly crime," Haidar Alawadi, a relative of Shaima Alawadi, said at the funeral.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Relatives of Shaima Alawadi gather around her body during her funeral in Iraq. Credit: Hadi Mizban / Associated Press

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