11/18/2004

We had our daily car bomb today...

Iraq Diaries: The Streets of Baghdad
"We had our daily car bomb today when a suicide bomber drove his car into a US patrol as it passed near the Yarmouk police station. Several Iraqis were killed, with no report yet on US casualties. I felt the rumble even though I was on a street far away from the blast-at least 5 miles distant.

Walking and driving on the streets Baghdad I find myself in a sea of chaos. Traffic is mayhem for many reasons. The current fuel crisis being the lead cause. Lines at petrol stations stretch for miles at some of the stations. A common scene at these lines is that of people pushing their cars because they are already out of gas or to save what precious little may be left in their tank.

Gas lines up to 4 miles long plague Baghdad. (Dahr Jamail)
The fuel lines that stretch in the busier parts of the city cause huge snarls of traffic as it is squeezed into one of the remaining lanes left open.

Another reason is military patrols and searches. Oftentimes when we are caught in crawling traffic, we come upon several Humvees blocking one of the lanes as they are searching a store or guarding troops who are doing a small foot patrol.

Iraqi reaction to military vehicles in the city continues to be cold. Actually, more than cold-it has become notably hostile.

I was walking with my interpreter along one of the main streets of Baghdad when a couple of different times patrols rolled by with two Humvees with guns pointing out the windows at people and the machine gunners atop them swinging their guns back and forth at the rooftops of buildings. Each time men nearby said to nobody in particular, 'Get off our streets with your guns,' 'You aren"

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