The New York Times
Tuesday 17 October 2006
Baghdad - American military units joined with Iraqi forces on Monday in maintaining a fragile peace between Sunni and Shiite communities in Balad, a rural town north of the capital where an explosion of sectarian violence over the weekend left dozens dead.link
In the aftermath of the reprisals, some residents of Balad asked why American troops had not intervened when the killings began in earnest on Saturday. One of the largest American military bases in Iraq, Camp Anaconda, which includes a sprawling air base that serves as the logistical hub of the war, is nearby.
"People are bewildered because of the weak response by the Americans," said one Balad resident who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals. "They used to patrol the city every day, but when the violence started, we didn't see any sign of them."