BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Immediate popular reaction in Baghdad on Saturday to the loss of the U.S. space shuttle Columbia and its seven-member crew -- including the first Israeli in space -- was that its was God's retribution on Americans.
"We are happy that it broke up," government employee Abdul Jabbar al-Quraishi said.
"God wants to show that his might is greater than the Americans. They have encroached on our country. God is avenging us," he said.
Car mechanic Mohammed Jaber al-Tamini noted Israeli air force Colonel Ilan Ramon was among the dead when the shuttle broke up shortly before its return to earth.
"Israel launched an aggression on us when it raided our nuclear reactor without any reason (in 1981), now time has come and God has retaliated to their aggression," Tamini said.