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Hugh's latest from Iraq.

Eddie Mair | 06:44 UK time, Saturday, 15 March 2008

Here are Hugh's photos and words to accompany the last of his Iraq reflections five years on from the start of the war in 2003:

"There is so much sadness here. Almost everyone I meet has a horror story - about themselves, or their friends, or - most distressingly - about their children:

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Riath Hussein with his daughters Noor, aged 5 and Rana who was six at the time (July 2003).
Riath was shot in the head and blinded after a misunderstanding at a US checkpoint.

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Murad el Moshedi with a portrait of his 19-year-old son Anjem Ranem Murad, an engineering student. He died in an American bombing raid on a Saddam Fedayeen parade; his father told me he was 'intercepted by Ba'athists and forced to attend". I asked him who he blamed for his son's death. "Saddam Hussein". (2003)

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Hakima Mohammed with a photograph of her son Thama Nema Sarhan - killed in a battle during the Iraq war. I asked her who she blamed for his death. "Saddam Hussein". Before answering, she asked the interpreter if it was "safe to tell the truth". (2003)


I can't show you ten year old Mohammed, paralysed from his chest to his feet by a bullet through his neck. His father didn't want to release any photographs for public use. If I could, you would see, in his father's words, 'a beautiful boy' - smiling, sitting in a wheelchair. I can't show you his father. If I could, you would see a very angry, very distressed man. (2006)

Raja doesn't want to be seen on the internet either. Sitting at a restaurant table, she told me her husband had been shot dead walking down the street three months earlier, "for no reason". While she spoke, her 3-year-old daughter Samira listened intently, her chin in her hand and her elbow on my knee. When her mother stopped talking, the little girl looked up and said to me, "Please. Stay with us". (2007)"

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