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Inside Falluja: 'Nothing to come back to' Print E-mail
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Scenes of widespread destruction have greeted residents allowed back into the Iraqi city of Falluja following the US assault in November. BBC News spoke to Dr Saleh Hussein Isawi, the acting director of the Falluja general hospital, who accompanied some of the refugees into the city. At about 0800 on Friday, the US checkpoint in the west of Falluja agreed that people from the city, especially those who live in the Andalus sector, be allowed inside to see their homes. I was there, inside the city - about 60% to 70% of the homes and buildings are completely crushed and damaged, and not ready to inhabit at the moment. Of the 30% still left standing, I don't think there is a single one that has not been exposed to some damage. One of my colleagues... went to see his home, and saw that it is almost completely collapsed and everything is burnt inside. When he went to his neighbours' home, he found a relative of his was dead and a dog had eaten the meat off him. I think we will see many things like this, because the US forces have cleared the dead people from the streets, but not from inside the homes. Most of the people are coming back out of the city after seeing that their homes are not ready for living in. But I saw two families who stayed in Falluja despite their homes being clearly damaged, and one man, who has only a room to live in, has told me he will stay on because he has been living in very bad conditions outside Falluja. He told me he will bring other members of his family and will live there - he cannot do otherwise. There is no water, no electricity, no sewage system - there is nothing inside the city, except a very small amount of medical supplies that have come from Falluja hospital by two ambulances. There is a primary health centre inside the city with two doctors to give people medical supplies and support. I was in Falluja hospital last night and I heard a lot of fighting and bombing, which continued for about three or four hours. I head very loud explosions inside the city.
Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/middle_east/4124667.stm Published: 2004/12/24 23:50:55 GMT 
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Falluja was not a poor city, compared to many others in Iraq. Falluja's refugees face an uncertain wait But many of its homes are now dust. Hardly a single one among those still standing is unscarred by war. Wherever you look, there are bullet-holes, fire damage and massive holes missing from the walls. Many people used to cultivate flowers in their gardens. The roses have wilted, the backyards are graveyards. My old house, near the train station, is half destroyed. I had built an office to one side of it, which had a library with all my books, documents, professional certificates and newspapers. All this is gone. It got bombed. One of my most prized possessions - prayer beads that belonged to one of Iraq's old rulers, King Faisal - was in that library too. But at least my wife and children are safe. I sent them away long before the assault and now I can look forward to seeing them again. From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4038805.stm
 
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This is Keith Richardson's alternative news site. The site aims to promote Truth, Justice, a green clean healthy environment and a wildlife friendly world. It is currently focused on Foreign News and particularly the Middle East.