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April 8, 2009
Rising Sunni-Shiite violence threatens security in Iraq

In Iraq, another bombing threatened security and raised new fears of violence between Sunnis and Shiites once American troops withdraw. The bomb exploded in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, killing seven and wounding 23. It is the third straight day of violent attacks and comes one day after President Obama made a surprise visit to Iraq.

Bernard Haykel, a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, speaks with Daljit Dhaliwal about what will happen in Iraq after U.S. withdrawal and how the Iraqi government has dealt with Sunni-Shiite tensions.

Iraqi blogger “Salam Pax” writes about tensions between Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods:

My aunts and uncles, four Shia families, and us we haven’t dared go back to our homes in the west of Baghdad, now declared Sunni. The first time we went to visit since 2005 was last month and it was depressing. So few of the old neighbours are still there and it feels so much less vibrant than the inner Baghdad neighbourhoods.

[…]Two years after the first walls went up the sectarian division of Baghdad is fact. People sold their houses in areas they can’t live in anymore and tried to buy houses in areas safer for them. The important word here is tried. This shuffling of demographic cards totally distorted the prices of property. Many were forced to sell cheap, especially if they were living in Sunni areas. Those who don’t want to sell are left with nothing.

Blogger “Laith” at the “Inside Iraq” blog describes the scene after a car bomb detonated at a market in northeast Baghdad in late March:

The blast killed at least 16 people and wounded some 45. The death toll likely rose today. I walked slowly down the street which was, until the explosion a lively street filled with men, women and children. I saw some of them but they were still under the effect of the explosion. Their faces tell the story of ongoing pain and suffering of Iraqis.

[…]Fruit and vegetables covered with the blood of the merchants and customers spread everywhere. the fruit are stained with the blood of innocents. Three different flip flops belonged to three people who are probably dead now. One is clearly for a young lady.  The push cart which is used to carry fruit and vegetable carried tens of wounded people. Its the most popular ambulance in cases like these. It is handy and can carry more than one person. This cart will carry fruit and vegetable again soon. Iraqi blood spilt on the ground has become part of our life.

Young student blogger “Violet” in Mosul describes a bombing in early March:

the explosion occur yesterday.. they happen every day, since i was born .. i was born in the war and my ears used to hear explosions and my eyes feel nothing when see dead people!!!

The floor- as I remember flew from its place … the windows went outside their sites  and then returned again!!!

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