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Last Updated: Monday, 20 October, 2003, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
'Living on memories of my family'
It is six months since 10 members of the large family of Abid Hassan Hamoodi were killed when coalition aircraft mistakenly bombed his Basra home. The 72-year-old tells BBC News Online how he is coping.

I will never forget my family for a second. We were all living here in my house and now I am left by myself. Alone.

Abid Hassan Hamoodi: 'They have all gone'

They are of my blood. My wife, my daughter, who was a doctor, my son, a computer engineer and my grandchildren. They have all gone.

I am now living on my memories. But I will never forget them. How could I do that?

There is sadness and sorrow throughout our days and nights, for something which shouldn't have happened.

This was a big mistake committed by the British here in Basra. Ali Hassan Majid [Chemical Ali] was living about 500 metres away. But they could have come to arrest him, instead of killing innocent people.

This was stupidity.

The occupying forces have done very well to remove Saddam from power. Otherwise, no Iraqi would have been able to do anything to get rid of that bastard.

Killing and kidnapping

The situation under Saddam was very bad indeed. We were hoping and expecting things to improve after the occupation by the coalition troops, but what happened then was totally different.

There's no security in Basra whatsoever, and no stability. There is no government and there is no law. Yesterday killing and kidnapping and looting was still going on.

The head of the hospital in Basra was killed. Last week, the dean of the engineering college of Basra University was killed with his deputy, a computer engineer.

Bomb site
I tried to resuscitate some of my family members, but it was no good. I didn't save any of them

We were expecting the coalition troops to liberate the country and to take full control of the situation and they're not doing this at all. The situation in Basra is deteriorating rapidly.

What was the purpose of the invasion of the country. Was it to liberate Iraq or to kill innocent civilians?

I have reported the attack on my house to Mr Bush and Mr Blair, both of whom declared on several occasions that people living at home, staying away from military bases, will be quite safe.

Throughout the days of war in Basra, believe me, we never went out of the house and always obeyed their orders. But what was the result? Killing innocent people.

On that day, I managed to save three of my family. I tried to resuscitate some of my family members, but it was no good. I didn't save any of them.

We are Shia and we had to bury them temporarily in Basra because we couldn't get to Najaf at the time. Last month we finally took them to Najaf. And we are still receiving mourners almost every day.



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