Iraq Violence Sweeps Up Unlikely Group -- Bakers

ByABC News
April 15, 2006, 5:19 PM

BAGHDAD, April 15, 2006 — -- In the Kasra bakery, there is flour, water, and another tool -- guns, lots of them.

The guns are within hands reach, on the counter, just behind the loaves in the corner, propped up against the oven.

Bakers have become targets, caught in the daily mix of violence between the Sunnis and the Shiites. Attacks at bakeries have left more than 70 bakery workers dead in the past month and a half.

Nearly all the bakers and owners of bakeries are Shiite. Sunni insurgents are aware of that, and the bakery workers have become victims of Iraq's rising sectarian violence.

"We have no government," one bakery owner said in Arabic. "We have no security so I'm securing myself with this gun."

Bakers and their workers are doing what the government cannot -- provide some security.

"I have given the workers guns," another baker said through a translator. "We are ready to fight back."

The variety weapons stashed in that man's bakery rivals his selection of baked goods.

Apparently, the old saying, "Man does not live by bread alone," has taken on a new meaning in Iraq.

ABC News' David Kerley reported this story for "World News Tonight."