Daily evidence of violent death continues to be the norm in Iraq, four years after the invasion by US and British-led troops. What was once a hope for peace has, according to a recent poll, turned into despair. The centre of the Iraqi capital remains scarred by the ruins of government ministries while its infrastructure is best described as “shambolic”. “Many people were happy to see Saddam’s fall”, said one man, but he added, “people are now no longer happy as they have seen the country wrecked by violence, by terrorists and criminal groups.”
With almost daily car bombs security remains a priority. “We have not seen peace of mind or stability since the war. The Iraqi people are all being targeted, one of them is my father who was kidnapped and we know nothing of his fate”. Earlier, at least five more people were killed after a car bomb exploded near a Baghdad police station. Iraqi and US troops are engaged in a major security crackdown. Military commanders say they have halved the number of civilian deaths.