Photo: A medic pushes an injured man in a wheelchair at a hospital in
REPORTS – LIFE IN
A look at violent deaths in
- DEATHS BY MONTH: May is the third-deadliest month for Iraqis since the AP began tracking civilian casualties in April 2005, with at least 2,077 killed as of May 30. The deadliest months in the past two years were December 2006, when at least 2,309 were killed, and November 2006, when at least 2,250 were killed.
- BODIES FOUND: The number of bodies found – usually attributed to sectarian death squads - dipped slightly in February 2007, immediately after the
- SECURITY PERSONNEL: The reported deaths each month for Iraqi security personnel, including soldiers and police, are creeping back up to surpass pre-crackdown levels after a relative low of 90 in January 2007. In May 2007, at least 237 security personnel have been reported killed, which is the most in any month since 275 were reported killed during July 2005.
According to a study entitled The Increase in Cancer Cases as Result of War Debris - published in early May by
More cancer-related deaths among women and children have been found in
“Displaced families in Anbar,
Enterprising tribesmen, fed up with officials’ failure to address their education needs, build their own makeshift schools. The
It has just a handful of classrooms, the windows have no panes and there’s little in the way of furniture, but it represents progress in impoverished Ghadhari where most people are illiterate. “I paid for the school, and [villagers] helped with the construction,” said a proud al-Hashim. The whole village contributes to the running of the new school. Local families provide teachers - who are in short supply - with food and sometimes accommodation; and the sheikh pays the taxi fares for staff who commute from Samawa, 35 kilometres away. Such self-reliance appears to stem from years of being ignored by the central authorities. This is a forgotten land, with no oil reserves, holy site, nor important road that has ever attracted the attentions of the ruling elite. In Saddam’s time, thousands of Kurds and Shia critical of the Sunni dictatorship were held in prison camps in the region. Like his predecessors, the former dictator had little time for Muthanna. One of the few things that Saddam was praised for by the international community was raising education standards across the country, but he allocated little money to schools here. What Ghadhari locals can’t afford to provide themselves they seek from other sources and vainly hope that officials in Samawa will help them.
Adeela Harith, a 39-year-old widow and mother of three, says she misses the days when her husband was daily bringing them food and when they used to sleep in a safe house in comfort. As a recently-widowed displaced person, she has no support and is now collecting left-overs from rubbish bins to feed her children. Adeela - who is the mother of Ahmed 14, Zaineb 12 and Yasser 8 - said she had tried to get a job as a housekeeper but did not succeed as most families cannot afford maids or do not trust strangers in their homes. Without an education, she was left with no choice but to look for food in rubbish bins. "I have to scrounge around rubbish bins to feed my children. They no longer attend school. The oldest two are street beggars and the youngest, Youssef, is with me looking for food in rubbish bins. "Some people told me that the best way to survive was to find a temporary husband or maybe work as a sex worker to feed my children but I prefer to eat garbage than to lose my dignity. "There are days when we don't find enough and we have to sleep near an abandoned school in
Here they come. A couple of minutes earlier than usual, I haven't got the car out of the garage yet. I stand outside, and stare. I used to be too embarrassed to do that at first, but not any more. The first Hummer vehicle turns the corner and comes towards me. There are usually four. As soon as they are close enough I look straight into the vehicle's square windows – straight at the china-doll faces inside. At first they were too embarrassed to stare back. Then they started staring back – and then mostly ignored me. I became fascinated with them when they first made it a practice to pass by my door every morning as I drive out my garage – so that it became a matter of "who does it first". Every time I look, I see young men – so young, some younger than my student daughter – with difficulty I see their faces, old disillusioned expressions on their surprisingly young faces; the baby fat still lingering in some. I can't help remembering my son. He was the same age.
An estimated 78,000 Iraqis were killed by
Iraqi police found a mass grave northeast of
REPORTS – IRAQI MILITIAS, POLITICIANS, POWER BROKERS
An Iraqi police commander accused of ordering the killing of local people was arrested Thursday by the U.S. Army, a military statement said. U.S. Army troops also arrested 14 bodyguards and the brother of police commander Hamid Ibrahim Jazza'a, the Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, reported. Jazza'a was arrested in the
The British computer expert and four security guards seized from the finance ministry building on Tuesday were driven off in the direction of
But, aside from his surprising reappearance, something else is likely to attract media attention to Al-Sadr. The former health minister and one- time Sadrist, Ali Al-Shamri, who withdrew from the government after Al-Sadr pulled his ministers from the cabinet, has applied for asylum in the US. Much has been said about the former health minister, including claims that he turned the Health Ministry into a haven for death squads. The accusations against Al-Shamri intensified after Ali Al-Mahdawi, health chief in Diyali, disappeared a year ago. Al-Mahdawi had come to meet Al-Shamri to discuss his nomination by the (Sunni) Reconciliation Block for the job of deputy health minister. After entering Al-Shamri's office, he was never seen again. The daily Al-Zaman claims that Al-Shamri, who is accused of leading the death squads and selling bodies from the
……….. In reaction to accusations that the Mahdi Army was receiving Iranian weapons and training, Al-Sakhri said that the weapons used by the Mahdi Army belonged to the disbanded Iraqi army and that the Mahdi supporters were not receiving any assistance from
The Haqq Agency posted a video of an alleged joint operation between an Iraqi Army unit and the Mahdi Army at the border of the predominately Sunni district of Fadhil in central
Sunni residents of a west
Here I am going to spoil the party and tell you what exactly happened in Amiriya. This report is full of lies “Sunnis revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq” and this one also “Sunnis Revolt Against al-Qaida in Iraq” meant to boost the morals of
Iraqi PM al-Maliki told Lara Logan of CBS Evening News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that he has a real fear of a coup by the Iraqi army. Al-Maliki said that some of the officer corps have been creating problems and even violating the security of military operations. He stated, "I'm not afraid, but I have to watch the army, because those still loyal to the previous regime may start planning coups. Those people don't believe in democracy, and for that reason we are monitoring the status of the army very closely." Al-Maliki also insisted that his government is not ordered around by the Americans, saying, "The Americans don't order us to do this or not to do that. On the contrary, we're the ones who tell them to do this and don't do that." [Video of the interview at the link. – dancewater]
Fresh armaments are arriving in the lawless al-'Amil area of southwestern
REPORTS – US/UK/OTHERS IN
The Department of Defense spent nearly $31 million in three years in condolence payments to civilians in
It started in 1979 when the
Ten days into the Nahr Al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp showdown with the Lebanese army the situation remains as volatile and dangerous as it was when fighting erupted 20 May. Meanwhile, we are confronted with a deluge of revealing information on what Fatah Al-Islam -- the guerrilla group based in the Nahr Al-Bared refugee camp -- is and who created it. If we are to believe the facts presented by leading investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, this extremist Sunni group seems to be the making of the Lebanese government, specifically the Sunni political movement of Saad Al-Hariri and the United States, with the help of Saudi Arabia. The objective? Countering the powerful Shia Hizbullah resistance group. Result? Fatah Al-Islam got out of hand and will not now submit to be controlled by anyone. In fact, its leaders are now saying they will lead the war on
Quote of the day: “A time comes when silence is betrayal." Rev. Martin Luther King