There's been some crazy sectarian violence occuring in Baghdad in the past few days. The main round of violence occured in the Jihad district, where random Shiite militia-men set up checkpoints and IDed drivers and passengers passing through. Those with Sunni names were killed and thrown onto the street. Al Jazeera Channel showed Adnan al Dulaimi (of the Sunni Tawafuq political bloc) presenting pictures in a press conference held on Monday of men in Iraqi police uniform standing at the deathly checkpoints with these militia-men. They put the responsibility of the more than 50 civilian deaths (in this mostly Sunni neighborhood) on the Al Mahdi 'Army,' a militia led by Muqtada Al Sadr and its infiltrators in the Iraqi security forces. When I heard of the news from my mother in law watching al Jazeera (Monday), I searched Iraqi blogs looking for more info. I did not find anything but a quick mention here. I found more info at this article and this blog.
Now in a tragic, yet not unexpected turn of events, Sunni gunmen have started 'avenging' their dead. Tragedy has hit close to home for us. I have mentioned before my husband's uncle in law, Uncle S, whose kidnapping story is mentioned here. I also mentioned that Uncle S, a Shiite married to a Sunni, had to leave his home in the Sunni district of Amiriya because of the violence against Shiites there. Uncle S has been in hiding since the beginning of May, when a man was killed and dumped right in front of their home, and when his Shiite neighbor was killed in his store.
In a sad twist of events, it was not Uncle S who was targetted, but his brother, F. This past week, while F was working in his metal store in the Yarmouk district (also a highly Sunni neighborhood), two men drove by and shot him. Uncle S and the rest of the family are torn up over his murder. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon. May he rest in peace and may his murderers receive their justice soon.
Riverbend recently wrote a post about this situation and other atrocities occuring in Iraq.
Update Two: My husband was telling me that two 'kids'-about 15 years old, were the killers! Horrific! Two teenagers decide that they're mad, and decide to kill an innocent man working in the 'wrong' neighborhood. They drive by, commit their crime, and go on with life. No fear that they will be caught. No need to go underground. No need to keep their eyes open for a police investigation. And a dead man's family mourns his unexpected death.