Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Al-Ghazalia Explosion

There was a big explosion in Al-Ghazalia suburb of Baghdad last night. The explosion killed 30 people and injured 25 more. But, the explosion itself isn't the only reason I'm writing. The actions of ordinary Iraqis inspired me.

The story starts with a Sudani who moved into a house in Al-Ghazalia two days ago. The neighbors became suspicious of the new resident when foreigners started visiting him carrying bags and left without the bags. Obviously, the number of bags was big enough to prompt one of the neighbors to call the police and tell them about the weird things happening in that house. [Source Al-Rafidain and Radio Sawa].

The cops answered the call for help. But, when the cops arrived and tried to enter the house, the Sudani detonated about 1800 pounds of explosives. The explosion destroyed the house and the surrounding homes.

I'm glad some Iraqis have started to trust the police and call them about suspicious activities. It's one step on a long road to achieve security in Iraq. The next step should be for Iraqis to be more cautious before they rent a house to a foreigner. In America and Australia, we go through many checks before we can rent a house or an apartment. The same should be done in Iraq.

And last, read CNN's version of the story. According to their report, it was the terrorist who called the police. Why would they give credit to the Iraqis?

UPDATE 12/31/2004
Here are my conclusions:

Who called the police?

A neighbor called the police. If the Sudani terrorist called the police (as claimed by CNN and other sources), they would've noticed his non-Iraqi accent.

Why did the terrorist detonate the explosives?

There are two versions for this part of the story:

1) One story is he meant for the neighbors to notice his suspicious acts from the moment he moved into the house. He went to the roof and started shooting in the air. This act prompted the neighbors to call the police. He wanted to kill as many police as he could by detonating the explosives when they arrived to arrest him.

2) Another story is the neighbors noticed the suspicious acts and called the police. When the police arrived and tried to arrest him, he went to the roof and started shooting in the air. He told the police he would detonate explosives stored inside the house if they tried to enter.

Whether the first or second story is the right version, the important part is the Iraqi people are watching their neighborhoods for terrorists.

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