Red Iraq video: Freak sandstorm chokes BaghdadBy
Heavy sandstorms blanketed Iraq’s capital Baghdad and other provinces on Thursday, causing traffic chaos and flooding hospitals with people suffering from respiratory problems. Many shops in the city were closed but cars and trucks still ventured out onto the roads, many relying on their headlights to drive through the sandstorm. With visibility down to only a few metres, police officers wearing surgical masks directed slow-moving traffic in downtown Baghdad. Sandstorms are a regular occurrence in Iraq, but recent drought conditions have increased their severity.