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Samarra Boiling Over US Curfews

IslamOnline.net & News Agencies

May 13, 2007


SAMARRA Ś Locked at homes for days by the frequent US-slapped daylight curfews with no water and only sporadic electricity; residents of Samarra are growing angry at the US occupation forces, saying they have turned their lives into a living nightmare.

"Two days. And we can't leave the house to buy anything," an old Iraqi man shouted at a group of approaching US soldiers, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) Saturday, May 12.

"For two days we have no water," added the man as he stood outside his house while a large mangy dog barked loudly to scare him off.

US forces has repeatedly imposed daylight curfew in the western city of Samarra on claims of preventing attacks by "insurgents" and protect reconstruction projects.

"I am a teacher," said another local. "We are supposed to have final exams this week but the children cannot make it to school. How am I supposed to teach them?"

The frequent US curfews have left many locals unable to move an inch outside their houses.

"Life in the city is unbearable," Mustafa Abdul-Latee, 38-year-old city worker and father of four, told the American Baltimore Sun Saturday.

"I get paid on a daily basis, so being unable to work is causing me a big problem. I am forced to buy in debt from all the shops, since I don't have money," added Abdul-Latee.

Siege

Adnan al-Dulaimi, the leader of the Sunni National Accord Front, said Samarra was under an "inhumane and sectarian siege."

"People are not allowed to reach main streets, the power is off and taps are dry for the seventh day successively," he told AFP.

The difficult situation in the city has left the US-appointed mayor too afraid to come to the city he is supposed to be administering, and unreachable by telephone.

"The situation in Samarra is complicated," the mayor told AFP.

Speaking from an army base in the provincial capital Tikrit, the terrified official insisted that he not be named in the AFP article despite being the town's most senior local leader.

"Everyone has a different role to play," added the terrified mayor.

Babies Dying

Samarra residents have also been lacking basic services such as clean water and electricity, which have become a long distance dream for many Iraqis.

The director of the city's hospital said four babies had died because there was not enough power to run their incubators.

"The continuing lack of electricity has led to the death of four newborn children and a 70-year old man named Karim Ali," Dr Khaled Mahmud told AFP.

Dr. Mustafa Abdul Kareem, head of the pediatrics ward at a Samarra hospital, said an attempt to take two of the four children before they die to Tikrit or Kirkuk had failed after US and Iraqi troops blocked their ambulance.

"The hospital has no fuel to run its generators, and this is the fault of the security forces, who have imposed a curfew and forbidden the movement of any person or any vehicle," he said.


:: Article nr. 32845 sent on 13-may-2007 23:57 ECT

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