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sent by Nicholas. Iraqis working with US fear attacks By Kim Ghattas, recently in Baghdad Published: August 25 2003 5:00 | Last Updated: August 25 2003 5:00 Thousands of Iraqis are co-operating with the occupying coalition authorities in one way or another: from informants, electricity workers, teachers and security guards at coalition buildings to the first 400 recruits training for the planned 40,000-strong new Iraqi army. But Sunday's targeting by unknown bombers of Sciri, a prominent Shia Muslim group that has accepted representation on the country's US-backed governing council, is likely to make them even more anxious over their own safety. Three bodyguards died in the Najaf blast, which followed the bombing of the United Nations base in Baghdad last week. But some Iraqis working more directly with the coalition had already fallen victim to attacks. When Layth Samir's friend was shot twice in the back by unknown assailants one afternoon in July, there was no doubt in anyone's mind why he had been killed: he was a translator for US troops. So Mr Samir, a 21-year-old student of political science at Baghdad University, thought it was time for him to quit his own job as a translator for the Alpha company of the US army's 1st Armoured division. "But my mother said I should not give up, she said I wasn't doing anything wrong, on the contrary. So I'm still working with the Americans. I love my job, it's a lot of fun but it's also very scary some times when we go on patrols," he says. Before the latest attacks, at least two other translators had been shot and Mr Samir said he had been warned three times against working with the Americans by men who came to his house. "I don't know them, but they said they were from the Hawza (the country's highest Shia religious authority). I asked them how they knew where I lived but they didn't answer. I've heard that the Hawza is making a list of the names of all the translators," he says. In June, Mohammed Jurayfi, the pro-American mayor of the western town of Haditha, was killed with his son in an ambush, and Haifa Aziz Daoud, a senior engineer in charge of electricity distribution in an area of Baghdad, was shot dead on her doorstep. Police officers trained by the Americans have also been targeted: nine were killed last month in a bomb attack on their headquarters in the western town of Ramadi. With many Iraqis resigning or shying away from jobs with the Americans, the coalition announced in July it would offer rewards starting at $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators of attacks - not only on US soldiers but also on Iraqis working with the coalition. However, informants are also a target and US troops are not ready to provide protection for them. Many Iraqis continue to work with US troops and the coalition authorities. Some, like Mr Samir, have idealistic reasons. Others simply need the money, at a time when around half of Iraqis are without jobs. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk