Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Some field notes

Last Night on December 7th 2009 a big explosion took place near school , when the staff of the school decided to burn some trash which piled next to the school, not knowing that IEDs and Ammunitions were hidden underneath that pile of Garbage. Many of the students at that school were injured and at least 6 students were killed. Till a late hour at night, Baghdad Security operation Command, brigadier general Qassim Atta, insisted that no one was killed (which is typical of him). Then late at night the state sponsored TV quoted Atta saying that only 1 child was killed. This morning I woke up early in the morning with an Idea to go to Sadr city east o Baghdad, where that explosion took place, and see how many funeral tents not supposed to be there according to Atta who is Nicknamed now as Qassim Al-Sahaf, after the Iraqi information minister who gave all those ridicules press conferences during the 2003 war.

Unfortunately this idea was interrupted by 5 massive bombings that shook Baghdad. After waiting for some time for things to quite down, and we at the Bureau know where those bombings were. Our team of 3 decided to head to the site of the first bombing in Dura south of Baghdad. We reached a stand still point 2 kilometers from the site of the bombings, when our cars was stranded in the middle of a sea of Cars.

We decided to step out of the cars and walk the 2 Kilometers to the site of the bombing. It has just started to drizzle by then. As we were walking down the road, there were many young men and women, in college students’ uniforms coming down the street. We realized that those were the students of the Technical College by which that bombed car exploded. They had to walk the same 2 kilometers in the rain since no cars were allowed into the area. Cars with Shattered win screens, twisted metal on the side of the Back drove by, coming from the direction of the College.

We reached the site pf the bombing to see a big yellow shuffle burying the 2 meters deep crater of the bombing at the center of the street and a scrambled mini Bus right behind it. Couple of meters to the north of it, lies some twisted metal which used to be a police Patrol SUV. The only indication to it that it was a police car, is a small piece of a green and yellow stripe twisted metal lying next to it, that hardly can be seen.

As we were standing there the police found a human sobered bear foot lying in the middle of the dirt on the side of the road. They were wondering how they could miss that while they collected human flesh from 2 blocks from the site. one of the National Police elements lifted the foot by holding 2 pieces of twisted metal sheets stripped from the cars by the blast and put it next to a 1987 Volkswagen Passat engine, which was lying by it self in the middle of the opposite direction of the street, more than 20 meters from the bombing site.

At least 9 people were killed in that bombing, including the 3 policemen, who were inside that patrol car. We hitched a ride back to our cars with a police car which was going around the sites of the bombings. They have just came from the site of another bombing in Mansour, which they described as “beyond disastrous”.

By the time we left the bureau the Death toll was 63 killed, by the time we got back, it has reached 112. Later the wire service reported that the casualties have gone beyond 120.

While the Iraqi Parliament united for the first time , which is really a rare thing to see, on condemning and calling for dismissing Baghdad security commanders, at the top of which is Atta’s boss, general Aboud Qanbar, Atta issued a statement saying that the weirs’ casualties reports are not true and another statement saying that Baghdad security command will sue an Iraqi TV station for “ defaming, insult and agitating violence” and a third statement saying that the number of people killed in the bombings were 77.