Locals fleeing the area said the attack started at 10 in the morning and the shooting didn't stop until after 5 in the evening. Al-Qaeda militants who are mostly Afghans and non-Iraqi Arabs killed dozens of the locals; some were beheaded and their heads were put on top of their chests; among them were women and children.So, the terrorists of al-Qaeda attacked the Sunni families in this poor village and no one was there for the rescue; not the government and not the MNF. The rescue came from was thought to be a very unlikely source; the Shia families in the neighboring district of Abu Dsheer:
One woman who was fleeing the fighting added:
The people of Hor Rijab turned against al-Qaeda but since there was no support for them al-Qaeda returned back, broke into the homes and slaughtered men, women and children. And the Americans did nothing…
Al-Qaeda started to kill people and burn down homes. They killed women and children. The people of Abu Dsheer received us they way noble people do, and they started to offer us water and food…they told us we are family…The tragedy of this village offers us a lesson that we must learn. First, al-Qaeda wanted through this barbaric massacre that belongs to the dark ages of history to prove that anyone regardless of sect who dares turn against them would become the target of the most horrific ways of revenge. Second, the noble behavior of the neighboring Shia town proves once again that violence in Iraq isn't civil war and that the reconciliation we should be looking for is one among politicians, not among ordinary Iraqis.
Third, it is really disappointing that neither the government nor the MNF was quick enough to intervene and stop the massacre. This means the government and MNF are likely to lose the trust of those families and this is a precious asset that we can't afford to lose at this critical stage of the war."