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Iraqis fearful of aiding U.S. Some pay with life for cooperating [View All]

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 08:03 PM
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Iraqis fearful of aiding U.S. Some pay with life for cooperating
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For months, the warnings from his neighbors were clear: Stop working with the American military, or you will die.

But Haider al-Rashed, a 31-year-old member of the local council in Baghdad's Al-Adil district, continued organizing Iraqi security guards to patrol the neighborhood gas stations, supermarkets and power plants. He ventured out daily, armed with his Kalashnikov rifle and a pistol, telling himself that he could fend off any attacker.

Late on the steaming night of Aug. 29, his tormentors fulfilled their promise. As the 11 p.m. curfew neared, al-Rashed hopped into his gleaming white off-road vehicle two blocks from his home and turned the key in the ignition. The seat under him exploded, turning the vehicle into a flaming tangle of wires and steel and killing the councilman.

"I heard this loud blast," said his mother, Surour al-Rashed, 50, lowering her head to her hands as she sat in her living room in west Baghdad with her orphaned grandchildren. "I knew Haider had been threatened," she said. "But he was so brave. I was sure that he could fight back."

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