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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 14:12 GMT
'Watching tragedy engulf my city'
US and Iraqi forces are locked in desperate street battles against insurgents in the Iraqi city of Falluja. The BBC News website spoke by phone to Fadhil Badrani, an Iraqi journalist and resident of Falluja who reports regularly for Reuters and BBC World Service in Arabic.

We are publishing his and other eyewitness accounts from the city in order to provide the fullest possible range of perspectives from those who are there:

Iraqi man buries his brother in Falluja
Iraqi man buries his brother in Falluja
I am surrounded by thick black smoke and the smell of burning oil.

There was a big explosion a few minutes ago and now I can hear gunfire.

A US armoured vehicle has been parked on the street outside my house in the centre of the city.

From my window, I can see US soldiers moving around on foot near it.

They tried to go from house to house but they kept coming under fire.

Now they are firing back at the houses, at anything that moves. It is war on the streets.

The American troops look like they have given up trying to go into buildings for now and are just trying to control the main roads.

I am sitting here on my own, watching tragedy engulf my city.

Looks like Kabul

I was with some of the Falluja fighters earlier. They looked tired - but their spirits were high and they were singing.

Falluja fighters
Local fighters have reportedly been joined by Iraqis from other cities
Recently, many Iraqis from other parts of the country have been joining the local men against the Americans.

No one has had much sleep in the past two days of heavy fighting and of course, it is still Ramadan, so no one eats during the day.

I cannot say how many people have been killed but after two days of bombing, this city looks like Kabul.

Large portions of it have been destroyed but it is so dangerous to leave the house that I have not been able to find out more about casualties.

Mosques silent

A medical dispensary in the city centre was bombed earlier.

I don't know what has happened to the doctors and patients who were there.

It was last place you could get medical attention because the big hospital on the outskirts of Falluja was captured by the Americans on Monday.

Click below for a satellite image of Falluja

A lot of the mosques have also been bombed.

For the first time in Falluja, a city of 1,200 mosques, I did not hear a single call to prayer this morning.

I broke my Ramadan fast yesterday with the last of our food - two potatoes and two tomatoes.

The tomatoes were rotten because we have no electricity to run the fridge.

My neighbours - a woman and her children - came to see me yesterday. They asked me to tell the world what is happening here.

I look at the devastation around me and ask - why?


Other interviews with Fadhil Badrani:

Translation from Arabic by Jumbe Omari Jumbe of bbcarabic.com


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