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Personal Reports

1) A Christian Science Monitor reporter observes: “Some districts reeked from the sickening odour of rotting flesh, a stench too powerful to be swept away by a brisk breeze coming in from the sandy plain surrounding the city 40 miles west of Baghdad.

2) Dr Salam Ismael took aid to Fallujah in January.
It was the smell that first hit me, a smell that is difficult to describe, and one that will never leave me. It was the smell of death. Hundreds of corpses were decomposing in the houses, gardens and streets of Fallujah. Bodies were rotting where they had fallen ? bodies of men, women and children, many half-eaten by wild dogs.
A wave of hate had wiped out two-thirds of the town, destroying houses and mosques, schools and clinics. This was the terrible and frightening power of the US military assault.
The accounts I heard over the next few days will live with me forever. You may think you know what happened in Fallujah. But the truth is worse than you could possibly have imagined.
In Saqlawiya, one of the makeshift refugee camps that surround Fallujah, we found a 17-year-old woman. ?I am Hudda Fawzi Salam Issawi from the Jolan district of Fallujah?, she told me. ?On November 9, American marines came to our house. My father and the neighbour went to the door to meet them. We were not fighters. We thought we had nothing to fear. I ran into the kitchen to put on my veil, since men were going to enter our house and it would be wrong for them to see me with my hair uncovered.
?This saved my life. As my father and neighbour approached the door, the Americans opened fire on them. They died instantly.

?Me and my 13-year-old brother hid in the kitchen behind the fridge. The soldiers came into the house and caught my older sister. They beat her. Then they shot her. But they did not see me. Soon they left, but not before they had destroyed our furniture and stolen the money from my father?s pocket.?
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