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News ::
Contact with Baghdad (english)
08 Apr 2003
Transcription of a telephone conversation with an individual in Baghdad at the beginning of the attacks; namely, the devastation cause by American missiles in the Shaab market. (Originally posted on, later featured in the Boston IMC Newspaper, 'Boston Free Press'.)
Translated summary of an Italian activist's conversations with activists and people in Baghdad. Originally posted in by: robdinz (robdinz (at)
Wednesday March 26, 2003 at 06:24 PM from

Background: These reports are posted on the IMC Italian site by *Robdinz*, in telephone contact with Baghdad from Italy with several people using the telephones of two hotels in the capital where the international press in located. The people there are independent press, freelance reporters, six or seven human shields and some Baghdadis who work with them. *Robdinz* is not in Baghdad but acts as bridge to communicate real time news and information gathered with great intellectual honesty and professional capability in the current dramatic reality of Baghdad.

The district of Shaab, in the northern suburbs of Baghdad, was a small and new neighborhood, neither beautiful nor ugly. Like suburbs all around the world, the urbanization never really finished.
The market was the most beautiful building in Shaab. Partially covered and built in white masonry, large stone arches led out to the open area. Here, there was always a crowd, even these days. Men, women and children walked around, looking for inexpensive food and clothing.

This morning at 11:00 AM, two missiles and car-sized bomb completely destroyed the Shaab market and all the surrounding houses. Blood, rubble, fire and terrorized wounded looking for help were everywhere. A three-meter deep crater was left, filled with the water from broken water pipes that were buried underneath the street. Shaab was the only remaining zone in the city that still had drinkable water.
Hassan Hafidh, a Reuters correspondent, was in Shaab when the attack occurred. He had arrived there a few minutes before with his colleague David Chater from Skynews.

Sixteen fatalities were immediately confirmed, but there are at least thirty people still missing. Some fifty wounded were taken to hospitals, helped through makeshift means. As expected in such situations, some were in very serious condition.

All the people in the adjacent neighborhoods immediately rushed to help. The emotions then exploded, shouting abuse in rage to the Americans and English. Guns and pistols were shot into the air.
Reports say that today weather was terrible, a very terrible. A series of storms and downpours in the city mixed with the sand from yesterday's sandstorm left whole parts of the city covered in mud. It was difficult to move, even on foot, without sinking into the muck and already mixed with the sewage brought out from the sewers destroyed by the bombardments.

An hour after the explosion in Shaab, freelance reporters and independent press arrived before any of the "official" networks. They confessed that being among so many tearful wounded and dead laying underneath what was left of the market, they were confronted with a bewildering feeling of powerlessness. Spread over hundreds and hundreds of meters were fruits, vegetables, meat, kitchen utensils, clothing, children's backpacks, tablecloths, birdcages - some with birds inside still them - on the ground underneath the rain mixing with the mud, soiling everything.

The number of dead in the city of Baghdad passed from 194 official victims yesterday to the actual 210. Not including the bodies that will never be recovered.

Telephone appointment at around 9:00 PM, Italian time

Complete list of translated updates available at:
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