Iraq's Mini-Taleban City
Distance from Baghdad: 3 hour drive north.
Attractions: Weekly hangings at Haqlania Bridge.
Government: Insurgent Islamists.
Legal System: Sharia.
Legal Enforcement: Mujahideen.
Local profiles: Abu al-Zarqawi, a “Tawhid al-Jihadi” (not a dance group).
Shopping: DVD’s of public hangings appear in the market within hours of the event. Children prefer them to cartoons.
Entertainment: Dancing and alcohol were banned when Islamists took over. The market is the place to witness a good public flogging; most recently a headmaster accused of adultery was whipped 190 times with cables. Children laughed as he sobbed and his robe turned crimson.
Popular Belief: One local man wanted to be a suicide bomber to atone for sins and secure a place in heaven. "But the mujahideen will not let me. They said I had eight children and it was my duty to look after them."
Now this is reporting from within. Read the whole story.