Friday, December 24, 2004

Falluja returnees angry, "city unfit for animals"

Iraqis reacted with anger, frustration and resentment on Friday after many returned to Falluja to discover their homes in rubble and their livelihoods ruined following last month's U.S. offensive.

"I saw the city and al-Andalus destroyed," said Ali Mahmood, 35, referring to the district of the city he returned to briefly on Thursday but now plans to leave after seeing the mess.

"My house is completely destroyed. There is nothing left for me to stay for," the teacher said, adding that he would rather live in the tented camp outside Falluja that has been his family's home for the past two months....
An Iraqi Health Ministry official said his greatest concern was the resentment Falluja's people were likely to feel when they saw how much damage had been done to their homes.

That was certainly the case on Friday. While those who fled were at pains to say they had nothing to do with the rebels who made Falluja their stronghold, many of them have since become angry and militant as a result of the offensive.

"Would Allah want us to return to a city that animals can't live in?" said Yasser Satar as he saw his destroyed home.

"Even animals who have no human sense and feelings can not live here," he said, crying.

"What do they want from Falluja? This is the crime of the century. They want to destroy Islam and Muslims. But our anger and resistance will increase."

In order to save the village...


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