Falluja: last words of the living dead
American forces were punching their way into Iraq’s “city of mosques” — it has more than 100 — which had become a city of death since an April rebellion by local Sunnis had triggered an influx of foreign religious extremists and an upsurge in terror and beheadings.
That night Um Fatima, 43, knew things were not good. She could hear heavy bombardment in the neighbourhood that her husband was defending. While her three younger daughters slept, she sat up all night with her eldest, also called Fatima.
“We were very afraid, reciting loudly from the Koran and praying. When the knock at the door came at 9am and I saw his friend Ahmad, I began to cry,” she said yesterday as survivors of the fighting in Falluja began to tell their stories of bereavement and escape and accused the Iraqi national guard of seizing young female refugees “like hungry dogs”.