Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Monday, 26 October 2009

Baghdad voices: After the attacks

The double suicide bombing in Baghdad on Sunday was the bloodiest attack in the capital since April 2007.

Here, four Baghdad residents reflect on the aftermath of the bombings and the future of the country.


Mustafa Muhie

We had begun to believe that life was getting back to normal. But now I think that was a false hope.

Sunday's attack shows that the bombers have not been stopped. If they want to, they can still kill us.

These attacks affect every aspect of our lives. But at the same time, you learn to live with them.

I was quite close to the blast on the 19 August and felt shaken for a few days. But after that, the memory faded and life continued.

There is a lot of tension between different religious groups in government. But I think most ordinary people are just trying to live life and put food on the table.

I do not feel the government can protect us. There are something like 1,000 checkpoints in the city. But they do not help, all they do is create traffic jams.

I want to see fresh faces in power who can make a real difference on the security front. If the politicians were really focused, I believe they could find a way to stop the attacks for good.


Walking around the streets, I see many people out getting on with their lives. There are crowds of people on the streets and many cars.

People still feel much more secure than during the dark years

Sunday's attack was a huge tragedy. We treated a few of the wounded at our hospital.

But away from the carnage things are fairly normal. Have things changed fundamentally since Sunday? I would say no.

People still feel much more secure than during the dark years.

We are frightened but we are going forward with a feeling of determination.

Most of my friends do blame the government to an extent. The prime minister promised to seriously improve security after the August 19 attack - and clearly this has failed.

To see real progress in Iraq, we need to move beyond sectarian politics. Maliki and other ministers need to be questioned for their mistakes, not attacked for short term political gain.


Today I feel the same as every other day. I am worried about the security situation, but I continue doing my job, I continue taking my children to school, I continue living.

Generally life is more secure than before, but sometimes we suffer a big attack, such as the one on Sunday.

Destroyed vehicles litter the street outside the ministries of justice on October 25
I fear the violence will continue to get worse until the election

There is not such a big division between Sunnis and Shias in Baghdad today. This was a problem at the height of the violence, but no longer.

It is clear that the government's security plan has not been successful.

The checkpoints do not seem to work. They just create a build up of traffic and people - who are then more vulnerable to attack by bombs.

The government should take severe action against those responsible. When people are caught, they should be hung in the streets as an example to others. Ministers who fail to take action should be sacked.

I fear the violence will continue to get worse until the election, because it is connected to the competition between factions in power.

But there is nothing we can do, we just have to continue with our lives.


People in Baghdad feel frightened but also angry. We do not trust the government to defend us from this terror.

Many people want to leave Iraq for a better life somewhere else

I do not want to see Iraq being dragged back to the years of terror. Since 2003 I have seen so much violence from the Baathists, from al-Qaeda from the war with the Americans.

Despite the violence, I don't think the divisions between communities are great.

I am Sunni and I'm able to go to Shia parts of the city with little problem. I have Shia friends as well - so there is some progress.

But I fear for the future. Because of the attacks many people want to leave Iraq for a better life somewhere else. We will loose many well-educated people because they are fed up with the violence and the lack of opportunities here.

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