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$46 million hospital for Falluhja

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    Posted: 30 October 2005 at 9:09pm

$46 million hospital for Falluhja


By Qassem Salman


Azzaman, September 8, 2005


The government has allocated $46 million for the construction of a new hospital in the war-ravaged city of Falluja.


Minister of Industry and Minerals Asama al-Najafi has laid the foundation stone for the 200-bed hospital.


“The building of this hospital has a lot of symbolic significance because it is being implemented in a city that has suffered a lot of oppression and tyranny,” Najafi said, without elaborating.


He said the hospital will “offer services of an international standard.”


Najafi inspected the city which was the scene of some of the most ferocious fighting in the two and a half years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq.


Falluja was literally destroyed as U.S. troops stormed the city, deploying tanks, armored vehicles, heavy artillery and air bombardment.


In a bid to help the 300,000 inhabitants to rebuild their city, Najafi agreed to subsidize sales of cement and other construction materials to Falluja.


The minister promised other projects among them a $20 million housing complex with 504 flats.


Work is continuing to rehabilitate the city’s public services and compensate the inhabitants for damage.


Meantime, more than 70% of the eligible voters have registered at the polling stations for the October 15 referendum on the draft constitution.


Falluja boycotted the January elections, but participation in the referendum is expected to be very high.


Falluja is a Sunni stronghold in the country and Sunni political and religious groups are confident that they will eventually garner a two-third majority of No vote in at least three provinces to defeat the constitution.


Relative stability has returned to Falluja recently and the city’s police chief, major-general Salah al-Ani said his force of 700 officers was in control.
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