Thursday, Dec 18, 2003
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By Atul Aneja
The bombing took place at a time when the mood of defiance, humiliation and dejection swept over most of Iraq as well as many parts of the Arab world following the capture.
In the pre-dawn assault in the impoverished al-Baya district of Baghdad, two cars were also destroyed. Ahmed Kadhim Ibrahim, Deputy Interior Minister, said the truck was heading in the direction of the police station but collided with the bus en route. Wednesday's attack follows a string of violent demonstrations that have rocked many parts of Iraq following Mr. Hussein's detention.
Cities most affected by rallies and rioting were Falluja and Ramadi two cites within 60 km., west of Baghdad that are part of the Iraq's famed Sunni triangle. But Mosul also witnessed an angry demonstration by hundreds of Mr. Hussein's supporters on Tuesday.
Reports from Mosul say that the march turned violent towards the end, leaving one policeman dead and another injured. Baghdad's respected Arab daily Azzaman reported that angry demonstrators overran three police stations in prominent locations in the capital on Tuesday.
Resistance forces also assaulted Polish and Bulgarian troops in Karbala, which has a majority Shia population, it added. Besides, the daily pointed out that a prominent Turkish lawyer, Tinc Goltigen, had declared his intent to defend Mr. Hussein in his trial.
Four days after Mr. Hussein's capture, it was evident that the anger against the American occupation of Iraq was fierce. In the streets, the sentiment against American occupation was widespread and strong, even among Mr. Hussein's detractors. Says Hashim, a Shia taxi driver who claims to have been tortured by Mr. Hussein's secret police, "If Sistani (Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, top leader of Shias in Iraq) tells me to take a belt of bombs against the Americans, I will do that."
Emotions run high
The detention of Mr. Hussein has stirred powerful emotions throughout the Arab world. "Why did the iron man surrender without resistance and why did he not blow himself up with the explosives belt he was said to wear around him so he would die an honourable death like the rest of his people or at least like his sons and grandson?" writes Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah of the Palestinian territories.
Agonising over the humiliation of Mr. Hussein's capture, the London based Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi said, "It was a shock to us and a disgrace to millions of other Arabs as they followed the TV shots of the Iraqi President submitting to the disgraceful American medical check up. We had hoped that he would resist to the last and in the process fall as a martyr, as his two sons and his grandson did, or take Hitler's way out by shooting himself in the head or swallowing poison."
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