RealNews

Decades of Good Deeds Provide No Armor

They used unarmed guards and eschewed elaborate security because in Iraq, as elsewhere in the world, they felt protected by their instantly recognizable symbol of benevolent assistance: a red cross. Then a car bomb exploded near their central Baghdad headquarters on Monday morning, killing 12 people and injuring at least 10 others. “So many people are dead, why?” said Moutasser Jalal Taher, 23, a security guard who spoke angrily, through clenched teeth, about the attack on the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC. “They are innocent people and it’s a humanitarian organization.” The question reverberated unanswered throughout the day, beginning when employees arrived for work and found pandemonium. The building’s beige facade was a chalky, blackened mess of rubble. Water gushed onto the street from a pipe cracked by the blast. Cars were singed and burned. And a crater six feet deep remained where a vehicle resembling a Red Cross ambulance and packed with explosives blew up during rush hour. Full Story

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