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Nonsectarian citizens isolated in Iraq

Amid increased sectarian tensions, those Iraqis who choose not to side with one sectarian group have found themselves targeted by many, including their own communities.
A man on his bicycle passes near the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad, January 14, 2014. Four car bombs killed at least 25 people in Shi'ite Muslim districts of Baghdad on Monday, police said, in violence that coincided with a visit to the Iraqi capital by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Although no group claimed responsibility, the bombings appeared to be part of a relentless campaign by al Qaeda-linked Sunni Muslim militants to undermine Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government. REUT
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The sectarian conflict in Iraq has been developing in different directions, thus making it hard for those who do not want to be part of the battle to remain impartial. The recent Anbar operations have sparked sectarian enmity in a different and more intense way among Iraqis, and a complicated web of accumulated rancor between Iraqi sects, regions and tribes is emerging in the country. This situation is unprecedented in the history of Iraq. Various retaliatory feelings have blended with sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shiites.

Followers of Iraqi affairs have quickly seen the worsening rift between Iraqis. The geographic, tribal and sectarian borders have become crystal clear. Geographically, many inhabitants of the southern part of Iraq have been using the term “westerners” (referring to those who live in the western part of the country) to refer to Sunnis cooperating with terrorism. Similarly, the word “southerners” is being used to talk about Shiites cooperating with Iraq’s archenemy, Iran. The kinship bonds of tribes composed of both Sunnis and Shiites have been broken, while other tribes that have an absolute Sunni or Shiite majority have isolated themselves. Sects are still playing a major role in the conflicts between parties.

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