- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 22, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 22 (UPI) — Dozens of human shields from Western and Arab countries have deployed to vital installations in and around Baghdad in an attempt to dissuade the United States and Britain from launching war on Iraq.

On Friday, nine Italians, a Spaniard and a Moroccan took up a position at a water treatment plant in central Baghdad.

"All human shields have the same objectives of preventing war and sharing the sufferings of the Iraqi people and the dangers of war," they said in a statement to the press.

Human shields from the United States and European countries started converging on Baghdad last week, arriving overland from London aboard three buses. They included people from all walks of life — engineers, physicians, businessmen, farmers, writers, nurses, housewives and others.

They said they all shared the same purpose: "Pushing away the specter of a destructive war and sharing life and death with the Iraqi people."

Hundreds more human shields are expected to arrive in Baghdad soon to take up positions at installations they believe will be targeted by U.S. and British airstrikes, including factories, food warehouses and infrastructure.

The head of the Turkish human shields, Shaaban Dianat, told a news conference in Baghdad Friday, "We join our voices to that of the Turkish peace movement to prevent the war Washington is threatening to wage against Iraq."

Another Turkish activist called on the United States to stop its war threats against Iraq, warning that a military conflict will have dangerous consequences for all peoples of the region, including the Turks.

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