Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Hundreds of families flee Baghdad as fighting escalates

(Azzaman) - Fighting is escalating in several districts of Baghdad forcing hundreds of families to flee their homes. In Bayaa, a low-income neighborhood, militias and police have joined forces in attacking rebel hideouts and the ensuing fighting has caused scores of casualties.
The neighborhood’s inhabitants have written to the government to put a halt to military operations and stop the exodus of families but to no avail. U.S. troops are involved in the fighting which is reported to have resulted in 35 civilian deaths and more than 63 injured in only one major attack.
Despite the intensity of fighting and the deployment of militias as well as government troops, there is no sign that the government will eventually bring peace to the neighborhood. Many parts are still under the control of rebels who are said to be using various weapons. Life has come to a standstill in Bayaa and other districts and many inhabitants wonder whether there will be an end to the current security plan to pacify Baghdad, already in its third month.
Conditions are said to be even worse at the Saydiya and Doura districts which the joint U.S. and Iraqi forces have ostensibly failed to control. With the U.S. and Iraqi forces concentrated in Baghdad, the rebels have strengthened their grip on several cities and towns to the west and north of the capital. Most parts of the northern city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest, are in rebel hands.

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