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November 2, 2005 3:00 AM

Destruction of beloved Baghdad statue emblematic of violence's toll

For 30 years, the peaceful face of Baghdads founder served as a landmark, a touchstone in a city gone mad. The bronze bust of Jaafar al Mansour, who founded Baghdad in the eighth century, stood in the center of a traffic circle in northwestern Baghdad and was used by nearly everyone as a reference point: near the statue, a kilometer past the statue. It was a symbol of the city, without politics or sectarianism.

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