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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Iraqis Work to Restore Essential Services After Bombing, Vow Terrorists Will Not Win

From Multi-National Force - Iraq:

Residents on the Adhamiyah District of northern Baghdad gather near the scene of an, Aug. 3, 2008, car bombing that killed four residents and injured seven more. The residents returned to the area soon after and vowed not to let the terrorists intimidate them and keep them from their daily life. Photo by Sgt. Zachary Mott.

Wednesday, 06 August 2008
By Sgt. Zach Mott
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

ADHAMIYAH — A car bombing in northern Baghdad killed four residents and injured seven more shortly before 9 a.m., Aug. 3, 2008. Nearby business, buildings and power lines were also damaged in the attack.

“I think people that attack the innocent people are not real human beings. They are like animals,” said Omar Haddam, an electrician, who was working to help restore power to the residents of Suleikh, a neighborhood in the Adhamiyah District of Baghdad.

Adhamiyah has been a shining light of prosperity for Iraq. In August 2007, the streets were so dangerous that markets were rarely open. People didn’t venture outside unless they were required and U.S. military and Iraqi Security Forces were routinely engaged in firefights with remnants of al-Qaida in Iraq.

Now, markets are flourishing, the economy is growing and essential services are improving daily. However, events such as Monday’s car bombing are the exception. Residents are no longer fearful of terrorist elements and they often flood local marketplaces as part of their daily routine.
“[The terrorists] can’t stop the economy,” Haddam said. “Even the people, they know the risk, but they’re showing the terrorists that they’re not afraid by coming to the market.”

And return they have. Two days after the attack, repairs to the power lines were nearly complete and nearby shops were crowded with customers seeking supplies ranging from soda to food for that night’s meal.

The message, as one resident said, is clear.

“They are criminals, and they are not welcome in this neighborhood,” said Mohammed Sammi, who was in the area less than 15 minutes before Monday’s bombing. “I want to say something too: that’s enough. There have been too many people killed and injured. No more blood.”

Adhamiyah remains an example of the prosperity that can exist in Iraq. With security gains reached as a result of the “Surge,” residents were able to get a taste of what life could be like. With this knowledge, the people are determined to rebuild and add to that prosperity.

“The terrorists will not win here,” Mohammed said.

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