Fallujah violence has Baghdad on edge

BAGHDAD - At a Friday prayer here, a worried congregation looked to the imam for reassurance.

"Fallujah," he said from the pulpit, but had to stop, wiping tears from his eyes.

EN_011014_Palmer1 (1).jpg
With little confidence in Iraq's corrupt political leadership, it's hard for anyone in to know what to do. Except pray.
CBS News
 Al Qaeda-linked extremists have returned to the city, his home, just 50 miles from Baghdad. Fallujah, where U.S. forces fought major battles against al Qaeda militants in 2004, is once again a battleground, as Iraqi forces fight to regain control.

“We must stand together against terrorism,” the imam told the congregation. “It is destroying the country.”

Already, the violence has driven many Iraqis abroad. Those who've stayed, and can afford it, now have protection. But ordinary citizens don't have bodyguards. They simply have to put up with the constant danger.

EN_011014_Palmer3.jpg
Seyed al Gilani, the head of the influential Gilani mosque, says Iraq is a fragile place, and the last thing it can stand right now is the return of al Qaeda.
CBS Newa
 After prayers, Seyed al Gilani, the head of the influential Gilani mosque, discussed the crisis with CBS News.

Iraq is a fragile place, and the last thing it can stand right now, Gilani said, is the return of al Qaeda.

“Iraq now is not safe because, you know, a car bomb here, fighting here, shooting here, sniper,” Gilani said.  

“But if al Qaeda involved, al Qaeda will kill all. Shi'a and Sunni.”

But with little confidence in Iraq's corrupt political leadership, it's hard for anyone here to know what to do.

Except pray.
  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."

Comments

Follow Us

On Twitter