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Last Updated:  Saturday, 29 March, 2003, 13:17 GMT
Market horror takes its toll

By Rageh Omaar
BBC correspondent in Baghdad

Relatives weep before the coffins of victims
More than 50 people are reported to have died in the explosion
The truth about what happened to this market may never become clear.

But the people of this poor district on the outskirts of Baghdad have already made up their minds.

Hundreds of them have come back to the scene of the tragedy today to try to make sense of their plight.

They say it was an American cruise missile that caused all this damage.

Amidst the rows of market stalls the debris from the explosion still lies scattered.

Nobody who was in this flimsily built market at the moment of impact could have stood a chance.

It is a war being fought in their name, to liberate them from the Iraqi government, but that war is starting to take its toll on many of them

They would have been torn apart from the thousands of pieces of shrapnel from the explosion.

Most people are now starting to question what exactly is in it for them in this war.

It is a war being fought in their name, to liberate them from the Iraqi government, but that war is starting to take its toll on many of them.

The market district which was hit was populated almost exclusively by Shia Muslims - exactly the kind of people that Washington says it wants to rise up and help them in the overthrow of the government.

Their belief is that this mayhem, this loss of life, was caused by the coalition.

One cannot quite say that attitudes are hardening.

But doubts are creeping in among many people as they begin to pay the price of this war.

The movements of those reporting from Baghdad are restricted and their reports are monitored by the Iraqi authorities.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Rageh Omaar
"Many frantically sought news of relatives"



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