Saturday, March 10, 2007

"We cannot leave Mutanabi Street. Outside of Mutanabi Street, we feel lost."

Today's Washington Post has a moving article on the aftermath of the horrific suicide bombing of Baghdad's Mutanabi Street book market:

Mutanabi Street had long been considered "the unifier of Iraq," said Khalid Hussein, a bookseller with cropped hair and thick forearms. Before the bombing, he said, this was "the only place that hadn't been touched by sectarianism."

The evidence was lodged in the dense heaps of twisted metal and the mangled cars. Here, a page from a Bible. There, a page from a Koran. Tattered posters of Imam Ali, Shiite Islam's revered saint, littered the ground near the 8-foot-wide crater left by the bomb. The shop that sold Wahhabi Sunni literature was in ruins.

The day after the attack, blackened body parts covered with cardboard and pink stationery sat near a storefront. A note read: "The remains of Hadi Hassan. Hummus seller." He was a Shiite from Najaf, said those who knew him.

A few inches away, a dusty, charred cellphone lay next to an empty yellow plastic bag and a shard of burned flesh stuck to cloth. A note read: "This is the only remains from this person. Everyone is going back to God."

By Friday, the body parts had vanished. Around Khalid Hussein were fathers and sons, strangers and friends. The smells of smoke and burned paper lingered. Scavengers looked for loot, but nobody paid attention.

Please read the rest. Also, LISNews has some additional links about the history of Mutanabi Street.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this atrocity and their families. I just hope the jihadist savages who carried it out are brought to account in a suitable manner.


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