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Human Shield Worries This Might be the Last

Posted March. 23, 2003 22:26,   


“The air strikes started around 5:30 am. I went up to the roof of the electric substation. I can hear bombshells everywhere that break the morning. About 40 U.S. fighters fire missiles. There are anti-craft fires from the Iraqi military. Managers here call me, saying that they will get here soon. The bombings continued for about an hour.” (Mar. 20, 1 a.m.)

Bae Sang-hyun, a 27-year-old human shield in Baghdad, Iraq, reported the local news in an e-mail to the Coalition of Hope for Open Society at Masan, a southeastern city.

According to the photos in the e-mail that the coalition disclosed Sunday, the other side of the Tigris River was wrapped in flames and the bombings could be heard from far behind a hotel in the third bombings on Friday.

Bae reported that he came out of the substation because, as the war began, there was no meaning as a human shield. But others including two Japanese remained there.

“The air strikes restarted right after I came to a hotel (Mar. 20, 9:02 p.m.). They continued for half an hour and stopped. The glasses were about to break and people were bustling. It was very hard to fall asleep because we don’t know when they would begin the air strikes again. I feel comfortable to be out of the dangerous place, but can’t possibly go to sleep when I think about my friend who are still there,” he said.

He said that every night he goes to sleep with a feeling of uneasiness that this might be the last, thinks about his family and friends, and prays for peace and equality. The coalition announced that they talked to another member Han Sang-jin in Baghdad on Saturday afternoon by telephone. On Sunday afternoon, they called the hotel where Han, Bae, and Yoo Eun-ha were staying and confirmed the three Koreans’ safety.