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IraqSide:Media
Baghdad Journal
Baghdad Diary: Pressure Cooker Abt To Explode
With New Plan To Secure Baghdad, Insurgents Gear Up Too
01/25/2007 11:00 PM ET
Andrew North, the BBC correspondent in Baghdad, sends a dispatch on the new security plan for Iraq: Excerpts: What's Baghdad like now, someone I was talking to in London asked me last week."Like a pressure cooker about to explode," I said.That's how it feels. With the announcement of the new plan to secure Baghdad, it is not just the Americans and Iraqi government gearing up for a last big push. The insurgents and militias are too. Many seem to be starting their offensive early.

The violence becomes more vicious, random and constant. Gunfire in our part of Baghdad carries on long into the night now. The distinctive sound of mortars being fired or car bombs wake us up most mornings.

A gangland-style shooting at an evening groceries market in east Baghdad..Then there was the devastating double-bombing at Mustansiriya university in east Baghdad last week, in which 70 people were killed...Rescue workers arriving to retrieve the dead and wounded were greeted by the sound of dozens of mobile phones ringing amongst the wreckage, as friends and relatives tried again and again to check on the fate of loved ones...

Yet as soon as the wreckage is cleared, so too are the memories.

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