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3/15/04 - MOSUL POLICE STATION REOPENS - 2004-03-16

The Althaqafa police station has reopened in Mosul, Iraq. The facility was damaged on January 31st when an explosive device was detonated outside the building. Ten Iraqi police officers were killed. More than forty were wounded.

The station’s outer walls and two rooms were badly damaged and all of the windows were blown out. Computers and furniture were also destroyed. The rebuilding effort began immediately.

The Mosul firm of Wameedh and Oday was awarded the contract and completed the rebuilding project ahead of schedule. “While it’s unfortunate there have been a lot of wounded police officers,” says Mohamad Barhawee, Mosul’s police chief, “they are fighting for a good cause.” U.S. Army General Carter Ham said, “This police station will stand here now as a memory to those police officers who sacrificed their lives for the people of Mosul.”

Some of those who target Iraqi police stations and religious sites are supporters of the former regime of Saddam Hussein. Others are foreign terrorists. “All of them,” says President George W. Bush, “are determined to halt and reverse all progress toward freedom in Iraq”:

“One of the terrorist leaders, a killer named [Abu Musab] Zarqawi, recently wrote to a senior al-Qaida terrorist of his plan to tear Iraq apart with ethnic violence, to undermine Iraqi security forces, to demoralize our coalition, and to prevent the rise of a sovereign, democratic government. The killers’ strategy will fail.”

Recently in northern Iraq, Iraqi police prevented a rocket-propelled grenade attack targeting a local council meeting. Two suspects were charged with planning the attack. In a separate incident, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps and the Baghdad police acted on a tip from a local Iraqi. Nahdem al Marsumi, the leader of a terrorist cell, and six others were arrested.

A year ago, Iraq’s only law was the whim of a brutal dictator. Today Iraqis are on the way to regaining their sovereignty and creating a free society.