Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Event Happening in World 

After three weeks of fighting between American marines and insurgents, a soccer stadium has become known as the Falluja Martyrs Cemetery.

The Iraqi Ministry of Health has tried to piece together the number of Iraqis killed in the fighting, in which American forces have used warplanes, attack helicopters and tanks against the mortars and rocket-propelled grenades and machine-gun fire of the guerrillas.

The ministry said that 271 people had been killed since the start of the offensive on April 5. Local doctors quoted by news agencies have given figures more than double that.

Judging by the littered cemetery grounds, bodies had been brought here from hospitals or ambulance medics. Rubber surgical gloves and masks had been tossed amid the graves. Boxes of incense lay spent and discarded, and dried palm fronds were stuck into the dirt of the mounded plots.

More room was being made for future casualties between the goal posts of the large soccer pitch in the center of the stadium, where the turf had been tilled with rows of trenches deep enough to stand in.

"There are still a lot of bodies out there," said Hamza. "But we can't get them because of the fighting."

Full story.


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