Video: Fear on the streets of Baghdad

By Richard Engel Chief foreign correspondent
NBC News
updated 10/2/2006 7:23:13 PM ET 2006-10-02T23:23:13

At a private Baghdad clinic Monday, we saw surgery in a city Iraqis say is sick and dying.

Dr. Ismail Hamid has to work fast. There's not enough anesthetic to keep his patient out for long. The equipment runs on generators, and there's no air conditioning. But it's the dangers outside Dr. Hamid most fears.

"Many things can happen to you," he says. "Bomb explosion, car explosion,  kidnapped, being assassinated."

Monday, death squads in Iraqi uniforms kidnapped 14 people at a computer store.

Twenty-six more were abducted Sunday.

Kidnappers now routinely separate hostages by religion and execute them.

Fifty tortured bodies were found here in the past 24 hours, and the sectarian violence is increasingly damaging American reconstruction efforts.

Monday, a U.S. Army Stryker brigade showed us an American-built health clinic bombed this summer because it was on the front line between warring Sunni and Shiite militias.

How does it feel when the Army sees one of its projects like this?

"This is the consequence of all the sectarian violence over here, so it's very frustrating," says Lt. Col. Joseph Gandara.

Another clinic nearby is working, serving 600 patients a day. It is one of the few success stories in this area — built and protected by U.S. forces and American contractors. But the staff says the neighborhood is so dangerous, most doctors don't want to come and work here.

For now the clinic is intact, but they can't keep staff because of the religious war U.S. commanders here say is getting worse.

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