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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Friday, November 19, 2004


This is just disgusting. Why haven’t heard about this until now? Why isn’t there a huge uproar over this?

From the article:

In the weeks before the crushing military assault on his hometown, Bilal Hussein sent his parents and brother away from Fallujah to stay with relatives.

The 33-year-old Associated Press photographer stayed behind to capture insider images during the siege of the former insurgent stronghold.

``Everyone in Fallujah knew it was coming. I had been taking pictures for days,'' he said. ``I thought I could go on doing it.''

``U.S. soldiers began to open fire on the houses, so I decided that it was very dangerous to stay in my house,'' he said.

Hussein said he panicked, seizing on a plan to escape across the Euphrates River, which flows on the western side of the city.

Hussein moved from house to house - dodging gunfire - and reached the river. ``I decided to swim ... but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river.''

He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead as they tried to cross. Then, he ``helped bury a man by the river bank, with my own hands.''

``I kept walking along the river for two hours and I could still see some U.S. snipers ready to shoot anyone who might swim. I quit the idea of crossing the river and walked for about five hours through orchards.''

He met a peasant family, who gave him refuge in their house for two days. Hussein knew a driver in the region and sent a message to another AP colleague, Ali Ahmed, in nearby Ramadi. Ahmed relayed the news that Hussein was alive to AP's Baghdad bureau. He sent a second message back to Hussein that a fisherman in nearby Habaniyah would ferry the photographer to safety by boat.

AP Photographer Flees Fallujah


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