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Across Baghdad, a moment of respite and guarded hope

Qassim Abdul-Zahra writes for AP:

Baghdad’s main commercial district has seen more bombings than its residents can count. Death visited almost daily during times of war — most horrifically, a 2015 suicide bombing that ripped through two shopping malls, killing over 300 people.

But over the past year or so, the residents of Karrada have felt more normal than they have in decades. Streets lined with food stalls are crowded with shoppers, coffee shops and restaurants are packed until late, and the grey cement blast walls that protected against bombings are being removed.

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