Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Iraqis enjoy Baghdad attractions after crackdown

Reuters AlertNet - FEATURE-Iraqis enjoy Baghdad attractions after crackdown:
"By Mussab Al-Khairalla
BAGHDAD, April 4 (Reuters) - Baghdad's once largely deserted theme parks and other attractions are showing signs of life as Iraqis, encouraged by a drop in sectarian murders and bombings in the capital, enjoy some much-needed entertainment.
The government, which has hailed the early gains of a new U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown in Baghdad, felt confident enough on Tuesday to reduce the hours of a nightly curfew, which had forced many businesses and restaurants to shut early.
Although many residents in the city of seven million people are still wary to go out for entertainment, some have been venturing back to Rusafa Amusement Park -- Baghdad's largest -- to take a break from violence and a lack of basic services.
'We were a little worried before we came,' said Riyam Baqir, who had queued up with her friends to ride the Gravity Rotor, which spins thrill-seekers around inside a cylindrical room, plastering them to the walls.
'But thankfully there are a lot of people here and we can briefly forget about the violent world outside the park and enjoy ourselves today.'"

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