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Baghdad Command Orders Concrete Walls Removed in Dora
By SLOGGER NETWORK 01/07/2009 8:00 PM ET
IraqSlogger.com.



Iraqi workers removed blast walls in the Baghdad district last week on the orders of Iraq's Baghdad command. While criminal and armed activity in Dora has not ended, Iraqi commanders have decided that the security situation in the former militant stronghold is stable enough to begin removing some of the blast walls that controlled movement in the area.

Residents of Dora note that the street where these concrete barriers are being removed links to the Dora Refinery complex, the major petroleum distiller for Baghdad, as well as to the main popular market in the area.

IraqSlogger.com.



IraqSlogger.com.



IraqSlogger.com.



IraqSlogger.com.



IraqSlogger.com.



The human toll
Iraqi Civilians in "Urgent Need" of Assistance, Relief Group Says
12/22/2008 5:15 PM ET
Iraqi boy with facial injuries.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Iraqi boy with facial injuries.

The international relief organization Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, has said that Iraq represents one of the top ten humanitarian crises in the world. The MSF group, which was compelled to withdraw its staff from many parts of Iraq for security reasons in 2004, is gradually rebuilding its relief presence in Iraq, in addition to running a surgical treatment program in Amman and doctor-training programs in Iraqi cities. MSF writes:

One of the greatest challenges facing independent humanitarian action today is that of reaching civilians caught in war and armed conflicts. Nowhere is this more frustratingly illustrated than in Iraq, where MSF has struggled to gain a meaningful foothold since the US-led invasion of 2003. Various military and political actors have sought to use and abuse humanitarian action for political purposes and in doing so have made humanitarian organizations a target for violent attacks. This has undermined the ability of MSF, and other neutral humanitarian organizations to address critical needs of the civilian population.

MSF was forced to leave the violence-affected regions of Iraq in 2004 when attacks on humanitarian aid workers placed its teams at too great a risk. The recent moderation of violence levels in Iraq has presented MSF with new opportunities to re-engage inside Iraq with direct medical care. In 2008, MSF has cautiously started several new projects inside Iraq.

MSF features a slideshow of Iraqis who have received treatment in its programs.

See the MSF statement for more information about its relief operations in Iraq.

Only on Slogger
Images Making the Rounds by Email Point to Macabre, Bizarre Reality
12/08/2008 6:13 PM ET
Fishers of men: Iraqis remove an unidentified corpse out of the water, in an undated photo circulating in an email message in Iraq.
Fishers of men: Iraqis remove an unidentified corpse out of the water, in an undated photo circulating in an email message in Iraq.

A series of macabre photos are circulating in Iraq with the heading "Only in Iraq," showcasing the well-developed dark sense of humor that Iraqis have had ample opportunity to cultivate.

A selection of the undated, uncredited images in the email, obtained by IraqSlogger, are displayed here, with translations where necessary. The origins of the email message are unknown at this time.

Caption reads: An Australian journalist obtained an Iraqi passport of the repealed S-type, officially issued in a new name, after paying a sum of 110 US dollars.
Caption reads: An Australian journalist obtained an Iraqi passport of the repealed S-type, officially issued in a new name, after paying a sum of 110 US dollars.

Only in Iraq.
"Only in Iraq."

An Iraqi egg seller points to his national reconciliation eggs which he sells alongside such varieties as solar powered eggs and federalism eggs.
An Iraqi egg seller points to his "national reconciliation eggs" which he sells alongside such "varieties" as "solar powered eggs" and "federalism eggs."

A statue of Saddam Hussein gestures grandly before a burned-out building.
A statue of Saddam Hussein gestures grandly before a burned-out building.

Scanning a corpse with a metal detector.
Scanning a corpse with a metal detector.

Newspaper ad bills preparation of asylum stories for Iraqis, for the United Nations, Canada, and Australia.
Newspaper ad bills "preparation of asylum stories for Iraqis, for the United Nations, Canada, and Australia."

Only in Iraq.
"Only in Iraq."

Photo Gallery
Balls of Ice Fill the Streets
By DANIEL W. SMITH 11/29/2008 7:51 PM ET
Photos: Daniel W. Smith
Photos: Daniel W. Smith

BAGHDAD - On Saturday, at about 2:00 PM, crashing thunderclouds rolled in suddenly. Long streaks of light could be seen throughout the sky, and then came heavy rain.

The rain got harder and louder, until people in their homes began to hear a constant battering sound. To the wide-eyed amazement of everyone on the street, small balls of ice fell from the sky.

They ranged from the size of a pea, to that of an olive. The squealing wind distributed the hail in odd formations, with small piles appearing on the sidewalk, and against concrete blast-walls. People ran for shelter. Streets were flooded, and at least a few good samaritans with pickup trucks ferried pedestrians out of whole blocks that were surrounded by a moat, in places more than a foot deep.

A few quotes from people outside:"I have never, ever seen anything like this", "It is a gift from God", "We need it, the agriculture needs water", "It is a sign that the security agreement was a bad decision", and "It is so good for us to have something different".

Different it was.









Exclusive
Iraqi engineers turned down U.S. help to accomplish it themselves
By DANIEL W. SMITH 11/08/2008 05:59 AM ET

BAGHDAD - Exclusive photos were just made available to Iraqslogger, of the aftermath of a main water pipeline one week ago, and its repair. It certainly isn’t big, breaking news, but it is interesting to look at how this sort of problem is handled in Baghdad, and to show the municipal workers that are responsible for making the city run. For them, it was important to stand on their own, and a mater of national pride to do the job themselves.

It started out on Iraqslogger as a “Rumor Mill” piece called “Water Supply Poisoned?”, in which we told of rumors being circulated that a U.S. convoy was driving around, playing warnings in Arabic over a loudspeaker to not drink the water because it had been poisoned by terrorists. It turned out that the water had, in fact, been affected by insurgent activity - not by poisoning, but by a bombing of a main water pipeline in al-Adhamiya. The same pipeline, which is vulnerable due to being above ground at that point, was bombed two years earlier as well, in 2006.

We spoke to Hussein Shuwai, the main engineering supervisor for water projects throughout Al-Rassafa (east of the Tigris). He said that the blast happened at 6:30 PM. By 7:15, as thousands of gallons poured out onto the street and careened down into the nearby river, crews were already present and figuring out how to handle the problem.

U.S. soldiers then showed up and offered help. Shuwai thanked them, but said that they were fully capable of handling the problem, and that it was “the job of Iraqis to bring water to the people.”

Reports of which Baghdad districts the water main supplies have been conflicting. Shuwai confirmed that it supplies much of al-Russafa, including al-Adhamiya, Karada, Baghdad Jadeeda, and even parts of Sadr City.

The crew worked through the night, into the next day, and on into the next night, without stopping. It was not a simple as patching up a hole. The water had to be shut off, then a whole section of the huge pipe taken out(just lifting it out of the ground proved to be a considerable challenge). Then, another section had to be transported and cut to fit perfectly, then placed and welded.

Water pressure is back up, and flowing into people's kitchens. -Sure, the water in most of Baghdad is still considered unsafe to drink, but I suppose it's a start.

Work Begins
Work Begins
The hole that the explosion made
The hole that the explosion made

Work continues into the night
Work continues into the night

The close proximity of the blast to al-Nidal Mosque is shown
The close proximity of the blast to al-Nidal Mosque is shown


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Rain Blankets Baghdad
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