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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 18:03 GMT 19:03 UK
Displaced Iraqis: Shia family's story
Jasim Adnan and his family, who have fled sectarian attacks in a mixed area of Baghdad
Jasim Adnan fled with his family after his brother was killed
Jasim Adnan, 36, and his family fled their home in the mixed Baghdad neighbourhood of Amiriya after his brother was killed and his shop blown up.

The family are now living in a tent in a government camp on the outskirts of Baghdad in Shoula, an area protected by the Mehdi Army, one of the two biggest Shia militias in Iraq.

Shoula itself was previously mixed, but almost all the Sunnis have now left.


We had a shop, on the main road, for plumbing and sanitation work. They blew it up.

THE SECTARIAN CONFLICT
The wife of Jasim Adnan, with their baby, in a camp for displaced Shia on the outskirts of Baghdad
In a series on the spiralling sectarian violence in Iraq, we explore the increasing domination of the capital, Baghdad, by bombers, gunmen and militias

This isn't an isolated case. There were many incidents targeting Shia. They killed only Shias - Shia sheikhs [religious leaders] were killed, the Shia grocer was killed, even the baker. They left no Shia people in Amiriya - they targeted and killed them all.

We were threatened. First we found an IED [improvised explosive device] planted outside our shop. We went to the local police authority and told them about it.

Then we got another threat, saying they would blow up our shop and take the men who work for us.

Then suddenly they came after my brother. It was the Qadr Night [a special night during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan] and he was fasting that morning.

TOTAL DISPLACED IRAQIS
15 Aug 06: 137,862
28 June 06: 110,000
2 June 06: 98,000
13 April 06: 65,000
30 March 06: 30,000
Source: IOM estimates

Armed men came upon him and beat him up. There were seven men there - he was the only one that died.

Exactly eight days later, at 9pm, they blew up the shop. Then they wrote with paint on the walls: "Not for buying or for selling."

After that we came here and lived in this campsite. People have been good to us, but we have been suffering since that day - we have no work, we have nothing.

We used to work with everyone. There is no-one we didn't help out. We have been harmed, gravely harmed. And some people are much worse off than us - it's a tragedy.

Jasim Adnan's older sister Um Fadil, 49, fled with the family:

Um Fadil, displaced Shia who has fled sectarian attacks
Um Fadil: "Even at home we sit in fear"
We left everything for the sake of our children. We fear going to the market. We fear going to work. We fear stepping out onto the street. Even at home we sit in fear.

We sat there and watched all our friends leave. All we heard were stories of threats and killings in the streets - men being murdered as they left their work to go home. So we left, to protect our children.

We'll never go back. We left our homes and our lives. I'd rather live in this tent than go back there. For the sake of our children, we'll sacrifice our lives.

Interviews and images by Out There News

map of baghdad




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