Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Alarmed by Raids, Neighbors Stand Guard in Iraq
Three years after the American invasion, the war has settled here, in the quiet of neighborhoods, streets and Iraqis' backyards. Dozens of bodies surface daily. People are taken from their homes and executed. Assassinations are routine. But instead of looking to the government for protection, ordinary Sunni Arabs are taking up arms against it, perhaps the most vivid illustration of the depth of Sunni mistrust of the American backed, Shiite-led security forces. "There is no bridge of confidence between the government and the Iraqi people," said Tarik al-Hashimy, a vice president of Iraq who is a Sunni Arab.
In March, the Baghdad morgue received 1,294 bodies, more than double the 596 received in March 2005. In April, the figure was up by 88 percent from the previous April. Nearly 90 percent died violently, most by gunfire, according to the morgue.
"The killing, you can't imagine the killing," said Yusra Abdul Aziz, 47, a teacher, whose block, in Adhamiya, organized its watch group in March, after four neighbors were shot dead over several days. "Without any reason. Cars come and shoot us. We run to the hospital and get our wounded. We live in a nightmare, actually."


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