Sunday, November 20, 2005


Here's a superb and troubling story from the NYT on the growing sectarian rifts in Iraq. The whole thing deserves a read, but here was the most crushing part of the story:

The terror hit Ali Nasir Jabr, a 12-year-old with sad eyes, on Aug. 20, when four men with guns entered his family's house in Samarra and began remarking about the family's Shiite identity. Ali, who was feigning sleep on a mat on the floor, said he heard his mother answer that the family had been living in the city for more than 18 years.

Then the men shot to death his mother and father, two brothers and a sister. Ali ran to a neighbor's house to call for help, and he then returned alone to wait for rescue workers.

"I checked them, I kissed them, one by one," Ali said, sitting in a mosque in central Baghdad, his pants cinched tight with a small belt. "Maybe somebody was still alive."

Ali now lives in Kut in southern Iraq with his uncle. Requirements for autopsies, death certificates and funeral plans forced him to travel to three cities with the five bodies in the summer heat. He helped wrap and carry each one. At the funeral in a mixed area north of here, a dozen friends with guns stood guard, his uncle said.

Read it all.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:58 AM

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