Tuesday, December 12, 2006

An Unbearable Photo and An Attack On Al Sadr's Office

4 year old Iraqi girl injured in bombing

I found this photo after I had done the main posting. There are three things I find very upsetting about it:

  1. It is always terrible to see an injured or dead child.
  2. The attack was on an ambulance.
  3. Like so many things in Iraq you only find it from the photograph service. It is too small an "incident" for me to have found any other reports of it.

I also found this after I had done the main posting:

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 12/12/2006 | Mahdi army headquarters briefly stormed by gunmen:

Mahdi army headquarters briefly stormed by gunmen
By Hannah Allam and Laith Hammoudi
McClatchy Newspapers
Audio | Raid on Sadr headquarters

McClatchy reporter Hannah Allam was in an interview at the headquarters of Muqtada al Sadr's office in Kadhemiya, down the street from the landmark golden-domed shrine of Imam Moussa Kadhim, when about 50 unidentified gunmen stormed in.

The incident, which occured at about 1 p.m. local time, was captured on a digital recorder. Here's what takes place on this audio file.

"Gunmen yell "Assalamu alaikum!" - Peace be upon you! - as they enter.

Sounds of guns being cocked can be heard as militiamen standing near the McClatchy team prepare their weapons.

Gunmen: "Nobody talk! Don't talk! Nobody goes out! Get inside!"

Sound of ruckus, unintelligible shouts. Someone from the crowd yells "Pray to Muhammad and his family!"

The Sadr militiamen respond with a prayer used solely by the Sadrists (the beginning is a standard Shiite prayer, but end reflects the militancy of the Sadrists): "May Allah bless Muhammad and his family, and bring salvation soon, and damn their enemies!"

Woman cries to the McClatchy team, "Please, take me with you!"

Another Sadr militaman calls for prayer and the crowd responds.

Women's voices, frantic: "What? Who? What is this?"

A Mahdi Army officer with gun in the air, says to Laith Hammoudi, referring to the women: "Get them out! Quickly!"

Woman sobbing, "How can I get out? How can I get out?"

Man's voice: "Walk behind me, follow me..."

More weapons cocking. Sound of running, voices, "Come on. Come on."

Then the sounds of the street, and horns honking signal that the McClatchy team has made it out of the Sadr offices to safety on the street. "OK, OK, OK."

Recording and translation by Laith Hammoudi, a special correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers

Their roundup can be found here. But the daily posting on Today in Iraq always has a much more comprehensive list and is the one we recommend.


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