The World's Toughest Beat

Iraqi police replace Americans on the urban front line-- and become prime targets for terrorists

Ali Salman Dhahir was wearing his new uniform the morning he was shot in front of his 15-year-old daughter. At 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 11, Dhahir, a Baghdad police officer, dropped Diana off at her high school. Sitting in one of his unit's blue-and-white Nissan pickups, he watched as she walked toward class to make sure she got inside safely. Suddenly a submachine gun fitted with a silencer opened fire from across the street. Glass shattered as the windshield became a web of cracks. Dhahir's driver took a bullet in the head and another in the neck and died. Dhahir was...

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