Saturday, June 16, 2007

Perspective: Children reclaim streets of Baghdad... for the moment

Away from the retaliatory bombings of Sunni mosques and fears of sectarian war, some children are enjoying the fallout from this week’s attack on the Shia shrine at Samarra. The curfew intended to limit militia movement in Baghdad has given them a rare chance to go outside to play.

Vehicles have been banned from the roads since Wednesday, when the al-Askariya shrine was hit, halting the car bombs and kidnappings that force children to stay indoors. Families and groups of children have a rare chance to walk safely in the streets, kick a ball or play on their bicycles in certain areas.

“There are no explosions or clashes between militias,” said Ahmed Mehsin, 13, who was playing football with his friends in Jadriya, a relatively peaceful Baghdad district. “We like the curfew because we can play outside, but I know it is difficult for my father and older brother because for the past two days they have not been able to go to work,” he said.

Read the rest at the Times of London