Perspective: Iraq's kids play at civil war
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Toting menacing looking toy guns, young boys swarm around an abandoned car, chanting battle cries of a Shiite militia and pointing their play weapons at the "terrorist" in the driver's seat. Outnumbered, the boy playing a would-be suicide bomber surrenders.
On Baghdad's dusty streets, Iraqi children are playing make-believe war games inspired by the Shiite-Sunni conflict, a development that shows the depth of the city's rapid and violent break-up along sectarian lines.
Some adults try to discourage such games, fearing they only contribute to sectarian hatred. Others believe there is little they can do to stop it -- given the horror that children in Baghdad experience nearly every day.
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