Saturday, July 29, 2006

Even A Trip To The Baghdad Morgue Can Kill You

I know Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki says his country isn't in the middle of a civil war, but with the United States military taking forces away from the battle against insurgents in order to contain frightening sectarian violence like this in Baghdad, I just don't see how anybody can take him seriously:

BAGHDAD, July 29 — As violence in the Iraqi capital continue to rise, the task of tracking down missing people here has become a grim ordeal. Iraq’s anemic investigative agencies have been ill-equipped to keep up with soaring crime, so for families seeking information, the morgues have often provided the only certainty.

Now, even the morgues have become a source of danger, at least for Sunni Arabs. In recent months, Shiite militias have been staking out Baghdad’s central morgue in particular, and the authorities have received dozens of reports of kidnappings and killings of Sunni Arabs there.

Many Sunnis now refuse to go there to look for missing family members and are forced to take extraordinary measures to recover a relative’s body, including sending Shiite friends in their stead.

“We have to fight just to get our bodies from the morgue,” said Omar al-Jubouri, the human rights director of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni political group.

He and other Sunni community leaders say they suspect that an increasing number of Sunni bodies are going unclaimed and are receiving pauper’s burials.

Too dangerous to go to the morgue to claim the bodies of people killed in sectarian violence - yeah, that's sounds like a civil war to me.

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