[Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister] Salih told reporters he was encouraged by what he saw in Baqubah, the provincial capital: streets full of shoppers, produce and sodas for sale in the market, and men with graying beards smoking cigarettes and sipping tea at a cafe.
A month ago, he said, the governor dared not leave his home for fear of militants who for more than a year had imposed a reign of terror in the city. "Today, we could see life returning to Baqubah," he said.
As he spoke, gunfire erupted nearby as U.S. forces guarding the meeting took aim at a sniper who had fired at them.
"This is a work in progress, apparently," Salih acknowledged with a shrug and a smile.
Indeed it is.
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