Ghaith Abdul Ahad

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

 

'Why is life in Iraq so cheap?'

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

In most cities of the world, a person might expect to be feted for surviving a single bomb attack. In Baghdad, survival stories can be found on every street corner. Ali, a survivor of two bomb attacks, tells Ghaith Abdul-Ahad that Iraqis are living in a state of hysteria.

Oiling the wheels of war

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

On the banks of the Shatt al-Arab in southern Iraq, a family business is thriving. For the Ashur, a small clan of 50 families, it's worth several million dollars a week. Costs are steep, especially for security. But profits are tidy and business is booming. The Ashur smuggle oil. For years under Saddam Hussein, they worked as mere guards at Abu Flus terminal at the mouth of the Gulf.

Iraq's Mehdi Army vows revenge on British troops

The Mehdi Army Shi'ite militia vowed on Friday night to conduct revenge attacks on British soldiers in southern Iraq after its Basra leader was killed by Iraqi special forces in an operation supported by British troops. Wissam Abu Qader was described by British officials as responsible for criminal activities and attacks against foreign troops.

Behind Baghdad's front lines

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Fadhel is a slim 26-year-old Mahdi Army commander with a thin goatee beard and smoothed-down hair that looks like a flat cap. One day last month he described how he and his men seized a group of three Sunnis suspected of killing his fellow Shia. "I followed the group for weeks and then one of them crossed the bridge to Karrada [a Shia district]. We first informed a nearby Iraqi army checkpoint that we were arresting terrorists"

Behind the lines of a civil war

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Husham is standing on a street corner in his Sunni Baghdad neighbourhood when his cellphone rings. "Yes brother ... Two strangers ... Investigate and take measures,'' he mumbles. He carries a pistol in his right hand. Around him are a half-dozen fellow vigilantes carrying Kalashnikovs or wearing pistols tucked into their belts.