Inside Falluja: 'Nothing To Come Back To'
December 29, 2004
Scenes of widespread destruction have greeted residents allowed back into the Iraqi city of Falluja following the US assault in November. BBC News spoke to Dr Saleh Hussein Isawi, the acting director of the Falluja general hospital, who accompanied some of the refugees into the city.
(December 27th, 2004) -- At about 0800 on Friday, the US checkpoint in the west of Falluja agreed that people from the city, especially those who live in the Andalus sector, be allowed inside to see their homes.
I was there, inside the city -- about 60% to 70% of the homes and buildings are completely crushed and damaged, and not ready to inhabit at the moment.
Of the 30% still left standing, I don't think there is a single one that has not been exposed to some damage.
Two-thirds of the City Destroyed
One of my colleagues... went to see his home, and saw that it is almost completely collapsed and everything is burnt inside.
When he went to his neighbours' home, he found a relative of his was dead and a dog had eaten the meat off him.
I think we will see many things like this, because the US forces have cleared the dead people from the streets, but not from inside the homes.
Most of the people are coming back out of the city after seeing that their homes are not ready for living in.
But I saw two families who stayed in Falluja despite their homes being clearly damaged, and one man, who has only a room to live in, has told me he will stay on because he has been living in very bad conditions outside Falluja.
He told me he will bring other members of his family and will live there -- he cannot do otherwise.
No Water, No Electricity, No Sewage
There is no water, no electricity, no sewage system -- there is nothing inside the city, except a very small amount of medical supplies that have come from Falluja hospital by two ambulances.
There is a primary health centre inside the city with two doctors to give people medical supplies and support.
I was in Falluja hospital last night and I heard a lot of fighting and bombing, which continued for about three or four hours. I head very loud explosions inside the city.
Demand an Investigation into What Happened in Falluja
• We urge you to call the White House (202-456-1111) and your Congressional representatives (Congressional switchboard: 202-225-3121) to demand an investigation into the civilian casualties and humanitarian crisis in Falluja, and to insist that the Red Cross and Red Crescent be allowed to bring relief supplies into the devastated city.
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