www.xinhuanet.com
XINHUA online
CHINA VIEW
VIEW CHINA
 Breaking News URGENT: Ministerial meeting ends, urging tsunami warning system     Meeting on tsunami warning arrangements opens in Thailand     Israeli army chief orders end to operations in Gaza     China penalizes gambling officials     SASAC hopes CAO bailing out plan supported     Car bomb in southern Baghdad kills four     
Home  
China  
World  
Business  
Technology  
Opinion  
Culture/Edu  
Sports  
Entertainment  
Life/Health  
Travel  
Weather  
  About China
  Map
  History
  Constitution
  CPC & Other Parties
  State Organs
  Local Leadership
  White Papers
  Statistics
  Major Projects
  English Websites
  BizChina
- Conferences & Exhibitions
- Investment
- Bidding
- Enterprises
- Policy update
- Technological & Economic Development Zones
Source Manufacturers and Suppliers from China and around the world
   News Photos Voice People BizChina Feature About us   
Tension clouds Iraq's Fallujah on eve of elections
www.chinaview.cn 2005-01-30 11:00:24

    By Abdul Rahman Al Issawi, Li Jizhi     

An Iraqi Army soldier stands guard at a polling station in Mosul, January 29, 2005.  Election organizers set up two polling centers on Saturday afternoon in Iraq's previously rebel-controlled Fallujah, but only found them bombed shortly after.
An Iraqi Army soldier stands guard at a polling station in Mosul, January 29, 2005.  Election organizers set up two polling centers on Saturday afternoon in Iraq's previously rebel-controlled Fallujah, but only found them bombed shortly after. (Photo: Xinhua/Reuters)
    FALLUJAH, Iraq, Jan. 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Election organizers set up two polling centers on Saturday afternoon in Iraq's previously rebel-controlled Fallujah, but only found them bombed shortly after.

    The two centers, in Fallujah's al-Risala and al-Shurta districts, were installed only hours before election day in an effort to showcase the idea that no place is absent from the elections.

    The two are among the only four voting centers in Anbar province west of Baghdad, a restive area where elections were thought to be impossible.

    A third is located in Anbar's capital city of Ramadi and is heavily guarded by US and Iraqi troops. The fourth one is said to be opened early Sunday in Fallujah, a virtual ghost town after US Marines and Iraqi forces stormed it last November.

    Unlike the south and the north of Iraq, there has been virtually no trace of elections in Anbar despite repeated calls for participation from the authorities.

    It has not witnessed any electoral campaigns by any political parties or independent candidates. It is doubted that the voting center could function because they would be easy targets for the many armed groups in the territory. Even if they are open, it is feared that few voters would show up.

    "I do not even want to think of these elections because they only express the desire of the American administration. It will create an allegiant government which will in turn justify the criminal actions it had committed in Anbar, "said Haj Mahmood Saloom.

    "Come what may, I think the results of the elections are predetermined," said the 48-year-old citizen.

    Extremist groups distributed handouts and statements, warning people against participating in the elections. "Any one who goes to the station would be considered disobedient to Islam," reads one leaflet.

    In Fallujah and the surrounding areas, US forces cordoned off roads and banned the free movement of people. Loudspeakers on American tanks called on the citizens to go to the polls. But the relatively quiet situation is believed to be a lull before the storm.

    "I am sure that the elections would not succeed in Iraq, because the American forces are trying to create an unstable situation in Iraq through the intensified deployment of their forces in our cities," said 36-year-old Khalid Sarhan.

    "The situation could explode at any minute," he cautioned.

    The situation in Ramadi, 110 km west of Baghdad, is equally harsh. Instead of campaign posters, on walls are leaflets that askpeople to stay home especially at night to avoid violence.

    "The evening will be turned into a hell that bites the Americans. The elections will be a disaster for the agents and collaborators with the occupation," reads a poster which carries the name of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Enditem

  Related Story
Copyright ©2003 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.