Friday, March 28
Anger as at Least 55 Killed in Baghdad Market
by Hassan Hafidh, Reuters, March 28, 2003
BAGHDAD - Distraught Iraqis crowded into a hospital in a northern suburb of Baghdad on Friday, comforting or searching for scores of loved ones they say were killed or injured in an air raid on a busy market.
Dr Osama Sakhari, speaking at Baghdad's Al Noor Hospital after a day of heavy raids across the capital, said he had counted 55 people killed and more than 47 wounded from the market in the city's Shula neighborhood.
This Reuters correspondent personally counted five bodies in one of the hospital's morgue units, after an incident which could further undermine U.S. efforts to win Iraqi hearts and minds.
Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf said at least 58 people had been killed.
"The number of the casualties...is 58 martyrs and I believe there will be more and the number of people injured is very big," he told the al-Hayat-LBC Arabic television channel, denouncing the U.S.-led invasion force.
"My explanation for their increasing crimes against civilians is that they are feeling the weight of the series of defeats which we inflicted on them on the outskirts of the cities and in the desert."
Arabic language television stations al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya said rescuers were looking for more victims, and showed pictures of people carrying coffins out of the hospital.
Al-Jazeera's correspondent said: "An Iraqi official told us that the search is still going on for those trapped under the rubble." The television showed pictures of bodies, including those of two children.
Television pictures of bodies and damage in Iraq have fueled Arab anger against the U.S.-led invasion which Washington says is not aimed at ordinary Iraqis. [...]