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In Violence-Prone Mosul, Voters Will Need a Shield of Snipers [View All]

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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:57 AM
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In Violence-Prone Mosul, Voters Will Need a Shield of Snipers
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http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/28/international/middlee...

<snip>

An election will be held Sunday in this violence-racked city of 1.6 million, but it remains an open question here - as in so many other Sunni Arab cities where the insurgent presence is strong - whether enough people will brave the dangers to vote in significant numbers.

"Mosul is a hot spot," said Salem Isa, the head of security for Nineveh Province. "We have special security plans and will try to take all the possible steps to get them to the boxes peacefully."

It will not be easy. Even handling election materials is considered so dangerous that ballots and ballot boxes will be distributed to the 80 polling centers by armored American military convoys. "The military has to do it because of the security situation," said Khaled Kazar, the head of the elections commission here. "No one would ever volunteer to move this stuff."

Once considered a model city of the occupation, Mosul has descended into a hellish sectarian stew, 65 percent Sunni Arab and 30 percent Kurdish, with a sprinkling of Turkmens, Assyrians and other ethnic groups. Making matters worse, in November thousands of police and security officers abandoned their posts under an insurgent assault that coincided with the American attack on Falluja
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