Archive for the ‘Sunni Muslims’ Category

Iraqis are Being Attacked and Killed for Returning to Their Homes; Time Has Moved But Hatred Has Stayed

October 14, 2008

By Corinne Reilly, McClatchy Newspapers 

BAGHDAD — Haj Ali’s family had been home for less than a month when a makeshift bomb blew off part of his garage. The message was clear: Go back to wherever you came from.

Two years ago, when Sunni Muslims began killing Shiites in Ali’s west Baghdad neighborhood, he quickly gathered a few belongings and fled. Last month, his family returned home. They didn’t stay long.
Children smile as they look at a U.S. army soldier on a patrol ... 
Children smile as they look at a U.S. army soldier on a patrol with the Iraqi police in Baghdad’s Ameen district, October 14, 2008.(Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters)

“We thought it was safe,” Ali said. “Now I see that for us, home means death. There are still people who don’t want us there.”

Only a small fraction of the roughly 5 million Iraqis who’ve fled their neighborhoods in fear since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion have returned, although returns have picked up since the Iraqi government last month began urging people home.

In Baghdad , where most of the sectarian cleansing has taken place, about 8 percent of the people who moved within the country have gone back to their neighborhoods, according to the International Organization for Migration .

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