Another Chapter in the Saga, "Bringing Democracy to the Middle East"

Cabinet ministers desert offices following threats
Azzaman, November 21, 2006

Many Iraqi ministers are staying away from work, fearing attacks from militias or insurgents.

Violence has exacerbated in Baghdad with street battles reported daily in several parts of the city.

Despite the presence of tens of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops, residents say there is no street in Baghdad where one can feel safe.

“We live in a city which has gone wild,” one resident, refusing to be named, said.

Gunmen have already kidnapped a deputy minister and attacked the convoy of another, killing two bodyguards.

More than 100 people are being killed every day while the government and its U.S. masters are powerless in the face of the spiral of sectarian violence.

Some ministers are reported to have delegated their duties to lower ranking officials, preferring to spend their time traveling outside Iraq.

Others simply stay at home, fearing for their live.

A director-general in one of the ministries said the minister has been away for more than a month and “no one in the ministry knows about his whereabouts.”

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