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« Man Of The Year | Main | Asteroid Danger Perception Increase »

Iraqis Taking Back Their Country

When even the Grauniad can't avoid reporting it, you know things have to be getting pretty good:

Not so long ago Sunni and Shia gunmen were fighting for control of the suburb, near the road to Baghdad's airport. As a result, the once religiously mixed housing projects that lie either side of al-Amil's main street soon separated into Shia or Sunni enclaves.

But Muhammad, a Sunni Arab, and his Shia colleagues in the neighbourhood watch group are determined to reverse the ethnic cleansing. Last month, the group agreed to protect a Sunni mosque in his street from local Shia militias. They have also been mediating between the divided communities either side of the highway.

The result was an understanding: Sunni families would return to their former homes in the heavily Shia areas, while Shia families crossed back into the mainly Sunni streets. The two communities agreed to guarantee the safety of the returnees. Such was the popular backing for the deal that even the local Mahdi army commander had to acquiesce.

"We've been neighbours for 25 years and we feel like brothers," said Muhammad. "We will help them to guard and respect their mosques, and they won't harm me or my family."

Nobody tell Harry Reid. Or if you do, make sure that he doesn't have any sharp objects around, in his despondency.

Posted by Rand Simberg at December 20, 2007 06:22 AM
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