Sunday, September 26, 2004

MSNBC Correspondents Says No Place Is Safe In Iraq- Even Green Zone 


Oct. 4 issue - Bricks and plaster blew inward from the wall, as the windows all shattered and I fell to the floor—whether from the shock wave, or just fright, it wasn't clear. The blast was so loud it sounded as if the building couldn't possibly stand, but it did. Toaster-size chunks of twisted metal fell in the yard and banged off the roof; later they'd be identified as pieces of a U.S. Army Humvee, blown up by a suicide car-bomb a full block away. No one was hurt in that building, which had been heavily blast-protected. But out on the street, 18 people perished, including one U.S. soldier; another three grunts were seriously burned and several children at a nearby Iraqi house were injured. Among the dead were three Iraqis who were incinerated in their car—which was so badly mangled it took wailing relatives more than a day to extract their corpses.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the incident was that it scarcely made the news. It was just another among a recent surge of terrorist attacks, one of two suicide car-bombs that day in the Mansour neighborhood of Baghdad. Besides, everyone was focused on the discovery of the headless corpse of American Jack Hensley, 48, found floating in the Tigris River. Gruesome videos of Hensley's beheading and that of fellow American Eugene (Jack) Armstrong, 52, played on Islamic Web sites. Armstrong's body was later dropped off only five blocks from his home, also in upscale Mansour.

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