Sunday, June 11, 2006

No Room At the Hospital

What do you think of when you see a headline like this?
Attacks, bombs kill 24 people across Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Two bombs aimed at police patrols exploded Saturday in Baghdad as another spate of insurgent attacks killed at least 24 people countrywide on Saturday, while insurgent groups offered condolences for the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and warned they would continue his campaign of violence. The first explosion missed the police patrol but struck the al-Sadriya market in a mixed Shiite-Sunni Arab neighbourhood in central Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 27, police said. … …

Three bomb injured children. The third child aged 9 was turned away from the hospital because it was too full.Al-Sadriya's a vegetable market the area it's in is mixed but mostly Shi'ite and on a Saturday morning it'd be very busy. This particular bomb was left in a plastic bag and the target apparently was a police patrol. The bombers missed them but "got" plenty of civilians. Reports vary but all agree that something in the region of thirty people - including children were wounded, while, depending on which report you believe, either three
or four people died. It's difficult to describe the aftermath of a bombing to someone who hasn't experienced it. There's a moment of numbed shock, followed by horror, fear, nausea, and frenetic activity. Most people recover fairly quickly and then either run away or rush to help the wounded as can be seen in the photo here of the immediate aftermath of yesterday's market bombing.

Then there was the bombing in in al-Karradah. I've written about al-Karradah recently:

"Karada's a fairly up-market southern suburb of Baghdad with relatively good security."

It's a popular shopping area in downtown Baghdad people still come from all over Baghdad to shop there.That particular bombing killed five people and wounded another 14 according to police. Just another day in Baghdad really.

But what of the aftermath. What happens to the people whose photographs I post being rushed to hospital or being put into ambulances. What in particular happens to the children?

Abdullah Mohammed, is 12 years old,he was injured in the Karradah bombing. He was brought by ambulance to the Ibn al-Nafees hospital and treated.

Esra Mahmoud, aged 13, was brought to the Ibn al-Nafees hospital in Baghdad, and treated.

The third child Ibtisam Mahmoud is aged 9. She was injured by the bomb targeting a police patrol in the Al-Sadriya market. Her condition isn't known but isn't thought to be very serious. She's being carried away from the hospital by her brother*. Ibtisam was not treated at the hospital. She was turned away. The hospital was too full to take any more patients so her brother had to carry her through a neighbourhood that's now regularly bombed, on foot, in scorching heat, to see if he can find a hospital that will treat her.

*One report describeb him as her uncle — mfi


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