Friday, June 02, 2006


Dan Murphy & Awadh al-Taee:
"Former resident Aqeel says once the insurgents moved in, his neighbors began joining their ranks.

0ne Sunni Arab neighbor had joined the insurgents, and explained their choices of targets, he says. 'This guy told me that 'if we focus on the Americans they grind us into dust,' ' says Aqeel. 'So they prefer to hit the Iraqi police, Shiites, translators, people they think are too secular. That's easy for them.'

Aqeel decided to move his family to a Shiite district after going to buy groceries on Public Works Street one afternoon in early February. While there, a white Opel with four gunmen screamed to a halt at that corner, pulled a bound man from the trunk, shot him twice in the head and sped off.

And, more often than not, Shiites were the ones targeted.

'They started killing Shiites, just one every couple of days, in November 2004,'' says Harith, who remembers his first neighbor killed was Umm Saad. The 70-year-old widow ran the small grocery that he and his classmates used to crowd into after school when they were kids.

'Then this year it expanded. You'd see bodies on the streets all the time. A policeman was left dead in his car on my street for 24 hours, until I went to the National Guard and told them to collect the body.'

"I now see that, little by little, Amariyah was falling under takfiri control,'' he says, using the popular pejorative term for Sunnis who share Al Qaeda's vision of an intolerant and violent Islam.

In late April, the neighbors to the right of his home, also Shiites, made the mistake of bringing a moving truck when they decided to abandon the neighborhood, and were gunned down before they reached the highway.

In early May, his neighbor in a small house to the left - a divorced mother of two and a Sunni who worked as a maid, was gunned down. "She had been warned to stop working." Harith and his family fled soon after - leaving all their possessions behind."
Read the whole thing.

[Via The Mudville Gazette]

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