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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:29 PM
Original message
Uneasy truce in the city of ghosts
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1202163,00....

Rory McCarthy talks to survivors of the US forces' assault on Falluja, the bloodiest battle of the uprising, which doctors say killed up to 600 Iraqis

Saturday April 24, 2004
The Guardian

By the time Menem Latif Hussain returned to his house early in the afternoon on the third day of the battle for Falluja there was little he could do. In the driveway by the front gate lay the body of his son Wisam, 16.
The boy had suffered one injury, caused by a blow so powerful that the back of his skull had been torn away. It killed him instantly.

"He had been standing by the gate looking out. There had been bombing nearby. I don't know whether it was a shell or a sniper that hit him," said Mr Hussain.

"I gave my thanks to God, for he was a martyr. And then we buried him in the cemetery."

When they returned to the house later that afternoon they found Wisam's cousin Thair Ahmed, 18, was also missing. He had left that morning to cross town to check on his fiancee's family. Hours later the family retrieved the young man's body from where it lay in the street. He had been hit once, by a sniper's bullet through the heart, and he too died where he fell. By then it was too dangerous to reach the cemetery.

"We buried him in a patch of dirt ground. There was no choice. Later we will take out his body and bury him properly," said Mr Hussain, 41.

They were not the only deaths he saw that week. From his driveway he saw a girl aged 18 standing at the gate of a house opposite shot dead by a sniper's bullet. Her brother-in-law rushed to help her, and he too was shot dead, Mr Hussain said.

At another time a house at the end of his street suffered a direct hit from a powerful bomb. "We ran to the house because they were my friends. In the garden I saw three men had been sitting on a bench. They were all dead, they had been cut in half by the bomb. My wife went crazy," he said.

A few days later, Mr Hussain fled Falluja with his wife and four surviving children and dozens of other families. They now live under canvas in an Iraqi Red Crescent camp in al-Khadra, western Baghdad.

"We are peaceful people and they came and bombed us," Mr Hussain said yesterday. "From the start of the war it was just like hell. Why did they come and kill our sons?"
<snip>
Ferocious


For the past three weeks, around 2,000 troops from the US 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, supported by jet fighters and attack helicopters, have carried out the most ferocious urban street fighting in Iraq since the start of the war last year.

The battle has taken a horrific toll.
<more>
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gottaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good weaving of personal narratives
al-Jumaili's story struck me
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Lots of PTSD VA claims going to come out of this
Lots of body bags too.

Can't forget a lot of Halliburton and Bechtel profits TOO !!!!
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I have this feeling of impending dread
..Like the wait before an inevitable attack.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. So do I--this going to be bad.
For all involved, but mostly for the children about to be slaughtered.
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 05:37 PM
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5. JoFerret
Per DU copyright rules
please post only four
paragraphs from the
news source.

Thank you.

DU Moderator
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