“Falluja ruins”

Hala Jaber in der Times Online:

Terror reborn in Falluja ruins

“In November 2004 I was the last western reporter to leave Falluja before the US Army launched Operation Phantom Fury, an air and land assault aimed at eliminating insurgents from a city that had become a bastion of resistance to coalition rule.
Last weekend I was the first to return independently and it was impossible not to be shocked by the devastation. Huge areas of what were once homes have been flattened. On countless street corners, mountains of rubbish spew plumes of black smoke into the air.
Fields of rubble stretch as far as the eye can see. Here and there children scamper across the ravaged landscape, seeking out larger bricks and rocks for use in laborious rebuilding.
Of the swift reconstruction promised by Baghdad in the wake of the US-led assault, there are only sporadic signs in wealthier areas.”