Fear Returns to Baghdad

By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted May 2, 2009 4:08 AM CDT
Iraqi Awakening Council members, Sunnis who turned against al-Qaida and now help Iraqi forces provide security, at checkpoint in the Azamiyah area of north Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, March 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
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(Newser) – The recent spate of violence in Iraq may pale in comparison to the relentless suicide bombings of 2006, but Baghdad is beginning to hunker down in fear again, the Los Angeles Times reports. Residents are curtailing their public activities, checking in with each other more often to make sure family members are okay, and worrying about the imminent withdrawal of US troops.

"They should only go when the Iraqi government is strong, and it's not strong enough yet," said one resident. US officials counter that while the recent bombings have been deliberately high-profile, there’s been “no significant increase in the number of attacks per week.” Last month was the deadliest in 7 months for US troops in Iraq, with 18 fatalities.