The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Iraq at the crossroads

Iraqi armyThe level of violence in Iraq has fallen during 2008, raising hopes of a calmer 2009. The BBC’s Andrew North, who has reported from the country through the year, looks at what lies in store for a still-troubled country.

A sharp wind kicks up the dust in the empty dead-end street beside Baghdad’s main morgue. A solitary woman in a brown headscarf turns quickly into the building.

Two years ago, at the height of the sectarian fighting, this was a scene of almost biblical misery.

Crowds of desperate, tear-lined faces filled the street, hoping to find the remains of loved ones inside.

Every few minutes yet more bodies would arrive, in flimsy wooden coffins or wrapped in carpets, often mutilated beyond recognition by torture or torn apart by blasts.

There were often 100 corpses a day coming into the morgue, week after week – so many that officials were using one of the parking bays as overfill storage when we visited in the summer of 2006.

“We usually receive about 10 to 15 bodies a day now,” says Ra’ouf Rasoul, deputy director of the morgue.

Car crashes now make up more of the morgue’s caseload. Baghdad’s is starting to become a typical big city morgue once more.

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Source: BBC News

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