RealNews

In Baghdad, fewer guns left on streets

Until recently, when shoppers at the South Gate Market inquired about the availability of ruman, they weren’t always referring to the tough-skinned fruit whose ruby-red seeds are said to soothe an ailing stomach. In the crowded concourses here, ruman also is code for hand grenade. But shopkeeper Hussein al-Kenani says there is no fruit these days. As recently as three weeks ago, there was no shortage of dealers openly entertaining offers for grenades, mortars, AK-47s and a variety of handguns, all within a mile of coalition headquarters. After the fall of Saddam Hussein last year, the South Gate emerged as one of the city’s busiest weapons markets. Dealers capitalized on the caches of arms and munitions abandoned by vanquished Iraqi forces. Full Story

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