Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Iraqis fear war's long-term affect on children

BAGHDAD — Ahmed Al-Khaffaji, 6, refused to leave his house for nearly a year after shrapnel from a mortar shell ripped through his left arm, rendering it useless.

Hussain Haider was only 5 when he stopped speaking after watching his father slowly bleed to death on the living room floor of the family's Sadr City home.

Iraqi psychiatrists worry about the long-term consequences of a generation that has been constantly exposed to explosions, gunfights, kidnappings and sectarian murders. "Some of these children are time bombs," said Said al-Hashimi, a psychiatrist who teaches at Mustansiriya Medical School.

Read the rest at USA Today