06/19/2007, 00.00
IRAQ
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In the aftermath of Samarra, Sunnis and Shiites flee Baghdad

In the aftermath of confessional violence sparked by the second attack on the Golden Mosque, there are fears of a new and unmanageable migrant flow. In the last week alone over 400 Muslim families have left their homes. Humanitarian aid problems in peripheral camps risk developing into a full blown crises.

 Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Confessional violence sparked by the second attack on the Golden Mosque Samarra, June 13, has forced thousands of Muslim families to leave their homes in Baghdad in the face of death threats.  The Sunnis left in the Shiite quarters of the capital received an ultimatum which expired yesterday: leave the area or die.  Many chose to leave, while NGOs present on the ground report that camps for the internally displaced are not equipped to deal with the influx.  Unofficial estimates speak of over 400 families in the last week alone who have been turned out onto the streets.

According to Irin, UN information agency, the “Kadhimiya and Shu’ala quarters are the worst hit, with dozens of Shiites killed in their own homes” in the aftermath of the attack on the Shiite shrine. In answer to Shiite reprisal attacks, following the destruction of the Samara mosques minarets, “Sunni militias began attacking homes, killing all within, including infants”, eye witnesses report.

Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration has expressed its concern asking “all parties to prevent the death of innocent civilians and their displacement, as NGOs and our Ministry cannot cope any more”.

The lack of medical care, food and water has meant many provinces are refusing to welcome any more people fleeing their homes; the newly displaced are having difficulty finding a place to stay, and have to sleep rough, in seriously dangerous conditions on the outskirts of Baghdad.

The capitals Christians are being subjected to the same fate.  After Dora quarter was “cleansed” of its Christian residents, the campaign of terror pf Islamic fundamentalism has now turned to the areas of Alameria and Hai-Aljameea. It is estimated that over 1000 Christian families have left their homes in Baghdad.

 

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